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Tackling Uganda’s Banana Crisis

July 27th, 2016 / Crop Life International, Belgium

The banana is a very important part of the Ugandan diet with 70 percent of the population eating the fruit every day. However, as Banana Bacterial Wilt is devastating banana crops across the country, eradicating the disease has become a major focus for Uganda’s government, scientists and industry. Plant …

How we can help reduce the spread of Banana Bacterial Wilt

July 20th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: Banana Bacterial Wilt (BBW) is an incurable disease that kills banana plants. It is a big threat to food security in Uganda, where bananas are a major food crop and where an estimated 75 per cent of farmers are engaged in banana production. Uganda is …

Growing hybrid banana revived my business

June 30th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

I have been a farmer for 25 years and it is from this that I have gained experience to diversify to other farming enterprises. But when I realised that I could not continue with the local banana varieties, I resorted to the hybrid one—M9, which is resistant to pests, diseases …

Bananas genetically modified not to rot

June 29th, 2016 / Scientific American, US

Israeli scientists find the specific gene to block the ageing process in bananas, allowing them to stay fresh for longer. Watch …

Setting out to grow bananas

June 23rd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: Over 70 per cent of farmers in Uganda grow bananas. It is one our major food crops and in order to enjoy good harvests the farmer should apply the right farming practices. It is important to begin with clearing the site to remove bushes and …

Genes used to extend banana lifespan

April 18th, 2016 / Reuters.com

Dr. Haya Friedman, a researcher at Israel’s Volcani Institute, also known as the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), told Reuters that the genetically-altered bananas can stay fresh for at least double the time of normal bananas. “You can see here that these are bananas that we changed the expression of the …

Africa’s key food crops threatened

March 16th, 2016 / The East African, Kenya

Agriculture in parts of sub-Saharan Africa needs to be transformed for key food crops to be produced, a new study published in Nature Climate Change notes. The study examines region-by-region the likely effect of different climate change scenarios on nine crops that constitute 50 per cent of food production in …

Staple plantains at risk of same diseases as bananas

March 11th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Plantains, an important staple through much of the tropical world, are susceptible to the same diseases currently threatening the world’s most popular banana the Cavendish. “All 120 plantain varieties suffer from the same susceptibility to black sigatoka, nematodes and weevils, like the cavendish, so there’s no variation in response to …

Climate deadline looms for African food crops

March 8th, 2016 / BBC, UK

Researchers have produced a timescale of how projected climate change is set to alter the face of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change is widely projected to have a significant adverse impact on food security if no adaptation measures are taken, they explain. In their study, the team provides timings …

Climate change could make growing these crops in African regions impossible

March 8th, 2016 / Climate Change News

Global warming threatens some of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important crops, growers have been warned. Key cultivating regions could become unviable in the coming decades under projected climate change scenarios, according to research published in Nature on Monday. Bananas, beans and maize are most at risk of the nine staples that …

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