In the news...

Bringing services to the farmers

June 17th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Like other regions in Uganda, West Nile is endowed with resources to enable successful farming. B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru visited a research institute that is supporting the farmers to boost their productivity. Its programmes, which the scientists are working on, include crop breeding. The focus is on varieties such as …

Solving insect resistance to environmentally friendly farming

June 14th, 2015 / Bioscience Technology, US

After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.  Read …

Mighty farming microbes: bacteria to give crops a boost

June 13th, 2015 / Interlochen Public Radio

What if farmers, instead of picking up some agricultural chemicals at their local dealer, picked up a load of agricultural microbes instead? It’s something to contemplate, because some big names in the pesticide business — like Bayer and Monsanto — are putting money behind attempts to turn soil microbes into …

Nigeria’s sugarcane bio-factory producing disease-free seedlings

June 8th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

Production has begun at Nigeria’s first sugarcane bio-factory in the city of Zaria at Kaduna state. The facility, which will have the capacity to produce one million sugarcane seedlings per annum, was declared open by Nigerian trade minister Olusegun Aganga at Zaria’s Ahmadu Bello University in May 2015, saying …

Cameroon: In vitro plantain project to produce 5 million plantlets this year

June 8th, 2015 / Cameroon Tribune, Cameroon

Essimi Menye, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has praised researchers of the Institute for Agronomic Research For Development (IRAD) in Ekona for their expediency in carrying out the FCFA one billion in vitro plantain plantlets project initiated in April, 2013. The Minister was speaking at IRAD-EKONA last weekend …

Tanzania relaxes law on GMOs

June 8th, 2015 / The EastAfrican, Kenya

B4FA Fellow Isaac Khisa reports: Tanzania has reviewed its law on genetically modified organisms, paving the way for scientists in the country to carry out confined trials on crops such as maize and cassava, and effectively turning the tables on anti-GMO lobby groups. This move to revise its GMO law …

Genetic engineering is just a tool

May 25th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

“Genetic engineering is just a tool and in itself is neither good or bad, says Iida Ruishalme” Read …

Disease and flood tolerant rice

May 23rd, 2015 / National Geographic, US

Plant pathologist and geneticist at the University of California, Davis, Pamela Ronald’s lab has isolated genes from rice that can resist diseases and tolerate floods. When those genes are inserted into existing rice plants, they help farmers grow high-yield harvests in places where the crop is a vulnerable staple. …

The GMO that could feed 1 billion people: C4 rice explained

May 22nd, 2015 / International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

VIDEO: C4 rice (http://c4rice.irri.org) is a genetically modified crop projected to save one billion people by 2025. It’ll give us up to 50% more rice “for free” – much more rice will be grown, for the people who most need it, without any extra resources being used up. Read …

Aflatoxin contamination costs Tanzanian agriculture greatly

May 22nd, 2015 / Xinhua News Agency

Tanzania is losing over 332 million U.S. dollars annually from the negative impacts of aflatoxin, a deadly toxin affecting cereal crops like maize, sorghum, rice, wheat, groundnuts and cassava, researchers said on Wednesday. “Agricultural products contaminated with aflatoxin poses a major threat to human and animal health,” said Bendantunguka Tiisekwa, …