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New genomics tool is being deployed in East African cassava fields

September 19th, 2017 / Medium

TED Senior Fellow and computational biologist Laura Boykin has made her life’s work to rid cassava — a staple root crop on which 800 million people around the world rely for their daily calories — of whitefly-borne virus. Now, with a team of international scientists, including co-Principal Investigators Dr Joseph Ndunguru and Dr Titus …

Do we need new coffee varieties?

September 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssale writes:
The Seeds of Gold magazine last week released news that the National Agricultural Research Organisation in collaboration with breeders at National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI), Kituuza in Mukono District, had introduced new robusta coffee varieties that are resistant to the dreaded Coffee Wilt Disease (CWD).
The …

Promoting bio-fortified crops

September 18th, 2017 / The Nation, Nigeria

Micronutrient malnutrition, also called hidden hunger, is dangerous to health.
To eradicate it, an international global organisation has taken up the challenge.
Spearheading the firms is HarvestPlus, a programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It is seeking to reduce micronutrient malnutrition through bio-fortification; by breeding new varieties of …

Genetic markers against deadly cassava viruses found

September 18th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Scientists have identified genetic markers of resistance to two deadly viral diseases in cassava varieties of East African origin.
According to the scientists, the cassava varieties — Namikonga and Albert — which are genetically related through a West African cassava variety TME117 are preferred by farmers in Tanzania and have …

Hybrid maize boosts yields for Kenyan farmers

September 18th, 2017 / Egghead, US

Hybrid maize seeds and the yields they make possible can make a big difference for small-scale farmers in developing economies worldwide, especially those who are at risk of poverty and food insecurity. However, low adoption rates are common, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
A randomized controlled trial in Kenya led by Michael …

Training programme set to boost rice output in East Africa

September 12th, 2017 / The Citizen, Tanzania

The Kilimanjaro Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) has offered to train agricultural experts in East Africa on improved production of rice, one of the staple food crops in the region.
This was affirmed last week by the project coordinator, Mr Motonori Tomitaka, at the end of an eight-day training course on improved …

The price we pay for rejecting biotechnology

September 12th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
We are stuck in a paradoxical situation where the government is urging farmers to work hard when it is not doing much on its part to overcome the challenging national agricultural production constraints that could be reduced by the use of biotechnology.
An online newsletter, Genetic …

Creation of agribusinesses and ‘agripreneurs’ key topics at AGRF

September 11th, 2017 / Devex.com

Experts and advocates pushed for the promotion of agriculture careers in Africa and more government-initiated investments at the 7th African Green Revolution Forum, urging governments and private investors to advance engagements beyond discussions through to implementation.
If left to eat local, the nutrition of the African continent would lie in the …

FAO to tackle army-worm disease in Africa

September 11th, 2017

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has developed a five year project known as `Fall Army-worm’ to control the spread of army-worm disease in Africa.
Mr Allan Hruska, the Principal Technical Coordinator of the project, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, that the task …

B4FA Media Fellow wins 2017 OFAB Nigeria Media Award

September 11th, 2017 / News Diary, Nigeria

Congratulations to Abdallah el-Kurebe!
Read …