In the news...

Seed companies must show commitment to end food insecurity in Africa

April 17th, 2018 / New Vision, Uganda

The rainy season is already here with us and most farmers have begun to plant various seeds nearly across Africa.
As the farmers descend upon their farms, one big issue that lingers among researchers is the inability of these farmers to access certified seed that can serve their immediate …

Can genetic maize rescue our farmers from Fall Armyworm?

April 16th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

Genetically modified maize, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) could be Kenya’s silver bullet in the fight against Fall Armyworm which has so far destroyed more than 200,000 acres of maize farms since 2016.
The biologically modified seed is incorporated with specific protein content that chocks the worm which continues to wreak havoc across …

CTA launches ‘Pitch AgriHack 2018’ to support young agricultural entrepreneurs

April 16th, 2018 / CTA, Netherlands

CTA has launched ‘Pitch AgriHack 2018’ a competition to support young agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) build viable businesses and boost innovation for a more sustainable agricultural sector. Winning innovations will be awarded up to €15,000, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.
The theme for this year’s competition is “Women entrepreneurs innovate …

Scaling up game-changing agricultural innovations and technologies in Africa

April 16th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), with the support of the World Bank, recently rolled out an initiative aimed at placing innovative climate-smart technologies in the hands of farmers so that they are better protected from the impacts of climate change. This is sorely …

African research in danger due to low prioritisation

April 16th, 2018 / SciDev.net

The future of research in Africa is in jeopardy unless adequate management of national scientific research systems is done, a meeting has heard.
Experts at the meeting said that inadequate management of national scientific research systems is frustrating researchers in Africa and other developing countries.
Top researchers from developed and developing countries …

Technology helping East Africa unlock agriculture potential

April 13th, 2018 / East African Business Week

Information technology is being utilised more than ever to improve agriculture in East Africa.
The sector is responsible for 83.9% of imports and 80% of total employment in Ethiopia alone. Technology-led transformation promotes good business practise and encourages farmers to work collaboratively.
On a larger scale, aerial images from satellites, weather forecasts …

Agripreneurship deserves as much buzz as supposedly sexier, urban-based sectors

April 12th, 2018 / Huffpost, South Africa

South Africa or Africa at large should seek to be the place that gives us the Steve Jobs of agriculture, to tackle major challenges the continent faces in terms of economic growth, food security and the present threat of climate change. This is particularly important in the sensitive debate over …

Tanzania: new maize seeds impress farmers as yields improve

April 12th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The Commission for Science and Technology (Costech) in cooperation with Ilonga Agricultural Research Institute have produced water-efficient maize seeds under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (Wema) project.
Trials have been made and Isamilo villagers at Kamwanga Ward in Geita District are happy with results.
Their Muungano Group was given Wema 2109 …

Hybridisation and the new frontier against spread of global pests

April 11th, 2018

IT’S the stuff of science fiction. Hybridisation of two caterpillars in Brazil confirmed through extensive genomic testing by CSIRO researchers.
But it’s real and will enable the international agricultural community to stay ahead in the race to combat the megapest.
Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the cotton bollworm and …

Potential of GMOs to combat crop diseases converting skeptical Ugandan politicians

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Ugandan banana breeders at Kawanda have improved local banana varieties to resist the devastating banana bacterial wilt.
Potato breeders at Kachwekano in partnership with International Centre for Potato have improved the locally grown Victoria Potato variety to resist late blight disease so that potato farmers will not have to buy fungicides.
Cassava …