In the news...

Farmers and scientists embrace Naro technologies

August 22nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
There are efforts by scientists in agricultural sector in Uganda to breed key crops using conventional and biotechnology mechanism in a bid for farmers to grow crops which are resistant to pests and diseases and tolerant to drought to achieve improved yields.
Scientists from the National Agricultural …

ANALYSIS The costs of GMO delays in Uganda revealed

August 16th, 2017 / Sunrise

Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have concluded that over 5,500 Ugandans could have died because of food shortages arising from delays to enact the Biosafety and Biotechnology law. The study, published July 31 in PLOS One journal, used modelling to calculate how delays in the introduction of three …

Banana wilt, GMOs and Food Evolution: What’s really happening to banana farmers in Uganda?

August 15th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project

Food Evolution captured real problems experienced by real people who need real solutions. The global forces denying millions of smallholder farmers access to improved varieties may be ignorant to the fact that African smallholder farmers grow their own food crops and have no capacity to import food from other continents …

How human urine has helped boost Wasieba’s banana farm

July 7th, 2017 / Daily Monitor

Farmer Jennifer Wasieba from Sikusi Village in Manafwa District has substituted the use of compost manure with human urine to fertilise her gardens and since she started, she says her crop and vegetable yields have been impressive. Nitrogen-rich urine is free, abundantly available and does not seem to have any …

Cultivating Angola’s banana crop

July 3rd, 2017 / BBC

The BBC’s Taurai Maduna visits a banana plantation in Caxito in northern Angola to see how fruit farming is proving itself to be a lucrative way of diversifying the economy in the face of a slump in the country’s oil sector. Read …

Scientist’s tips on better banana yields

June 20th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Dr Kenneth Akankwasa from Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL), takes us through the good agronomy practices.
• When preparing the field, farmers are expected to plant seedlings free of pests and disease.
• The site should have deep well-drained and fertile soils, preferably rich in organic matter …

Uganda: IITA’s breeding efforts to benefit 15,000 farmers

June 9th, 2017 / IITA News

The new 4-year project, run by National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL) Kawanda, will be piloted in 3 districts in Mbarara (Western region), Nakaseke district (Central region) and Kabarole district (Rwenzori region). A total of 5,000 households in each region are expected to benefit. The project dubbed “Improving scalable banana agronomy …

Study finds large chromosomal swaps key to banana domestication

June 7th, 2017 / Phys.org

Bananas are one of the most important staple crops of the tropics, transported with great care over great distances to satisfy the world’s appetite. And today, with more than half the world’s bananas coming from a single, Cavendish variety, they may increasingly become susceptible to funguses that threaten its livelihood, …

Biofortification: is it the next ‘Green Revolution’ for more nutritious food?

June 5th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Projects, US

The Green Revolution that began in the 1940s and 50s brought about large increases in crop yields and saved millions of people from mass famine. Yet malnutrition remains widely prevalent around the globe. And, while many people eat enough calories, many do not get enough nutrients.
Now, plant breeders and biotechnologists …

Grow rice, bananas together to fight climate change

May 30th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

They say desperate times call for desperate measures and for farmers in northern Uganda grappling with climate change, intercropping rice with bananas has helped a great deal, writes Tobbias Jolly Owiny.
Growing banana in rice fields and vice versa would probably have been dismissed as “unthinkable” by traditional farmers, but farmers …