In the news...

Communicating agricultural science

July 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Agriculture scientists from 20 countries converged in Uganda to discuss ways of easing communication in agriculture science.
According to the organisers, the scientists deliberated on several pertinent issues themed: “Strengthening Communication for Improved Biosafety Management.”
The executive director Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre, Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan, in the key …

Post-harvest is very important …

July 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssale writes:
If post-harvesting handling of cash crops like coffee, maize or beans is poor their quality deteriorates and they fetch less profit for the farmers.
A lot of our agricultural produce is spoilt and lost from the time the crops approach maturity in the fields, through harvesting, storage, …

Scientists launch alliance to hasten crop improvements in Africa

July 24th, 2017 / Coastweek.com

Scientists have launched an international scientific alliance to fast track crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvements in Africa (ACACIA) will also contribute in helping African scientists to fasten solutions to local food security challenges.
“This initiative will harness the strengths of the global scientific community, as well …

17 issues raised, agreed at FAO experts meeting on fall armyworm in Africa

July 21st, 2017 / Joy Online, Ghana

The three-day Experts meeting which started on Tuesday in Accra is to deliberate on the outbreak of the Fall Armyworm (FAW) infestation rapidly spreading across the Africa region.
It also aims at exchanging practical experiences and best practices on how best to manage FAW.
Key bulletins of what transpired at the meeting …

Scientists expand anti-striga seed to East Africa

July 21st, 2017 / News Ghana

African scientists said they have expanded innovative anti-striga seed that has led to the reclamation of 20,000 hectares of arable land in Kenya to other East African countries.
Denis Kyetere, Executive Director of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), said the expansion aims to improve the productivity of maize in the region …

Plant genetics, ecologically based farming and the future of food

July 21st, 2017 / John Wiley, US

For 10,000 years, we have altered the genetic makeup of our crops. Conventional approaches are often quite crude, resulting in new varieties through a combination of trial and error, and without knowledge of the precise function of the genes that are being transferred. Such methods include grafting or forced pollinations …

Scientists unlock planthoppers’ potential to control future crop disease outbreaks

July 20th, 2017 / EurekAlert, AAAS

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Zoology have discovered how a severe rice virus reproduces inside the small brown planthopper, a major carrier of the virus.
Rice stripe virus (RSV) causes major damage to rice crops each year. The study could inform future strategies for controlling the spread …

Nigerian University develops new maize varieties for farmers

July 19th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The Institute for Agricultural Research, IAR, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has secured approval to release three new high-yielding nutrient maize varieties for planting in Nigeria.
The Institute made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos.
The institute said the approval was granted …

Bio tech crops help African countries

July 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
It was reported in this column last month that maize, cassava, and cotton farmers in North Eastern Tanzania, had appealed to senior government officials to give them Genetically Modified (GM) crops to plant in order to avoid persistent crop failure.
This followed vain attempts made for years …

Agritech will not take root without better communication

July 18th, 2017 / Eco-business

Technology has the potential to raise crop yields, cut fertiliser use, improve farming efficiency and, by its nature, make the world’s oldest and least digitised industry more sustainable.
But without better communication of the benefits to farmers and the end consumer, agritech could suffer the same fate as genetically modified crops …