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GMOs: Give farmers a chance to speak out

March 5th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Emma Naluyima writes:
What to strive for. As a farmer, therefore, all I look for in any given technology, is whether it can solve current challenges I am facing or suiting the needs of the market I am targeting. If a GMO has a certain characteristic that can solve a challenge …

Data can help to end malnutrition across Africa

March 5th, 2018 / Nature, UK

Kofi Annan writes:
In 2000, the United Nations hosted the largest gathering of political leaders ever held. At that meeting, all 189 UN member states, plus leading development institutions, committed to the Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight ambitious goals for lifting more than one billion people worldwide out of …

Study shows how plants use ‘baits’ to trap pathogens

February 28th, 2018 / Earlham Institute, UK

A study published in Genome Biology shows how plants use ‘baits’ to recognize and trap disease-causing pathogens before infection can start.
Ksenia Krasileva and her team from Earlham Institute, together with researchers from The Sainsbury Laboratory, used phylogenetic analyses to identify how these ‘bait’ genes are distributed throughout different wild and …

New climate-smart technologies will boost agriculture and jobs in West Africa

February 27th, 2018 / UN Climate Action

A new programme is being launched to equip farmers in Africa with climate-smart agricultural tools and technologies.
The project is being rolled out by CORAF, a West African research institute, with the support of the World Bank.
It seeks to place innovative technologies in the hands of farmers to better protect them …

Why we should genetically modify coffee

February 26th, 2018 / RealClear Science

Remember the Gros Michel banana? If you’re under the age of seventy, you probably don’t. That’s because in the 1950s a fungal disease called Panama disease essentially wiped out commercial production of the Gros Michel. In just a few years, growers were forced to switch from the rich, creamy, and …

Africa could become a world agricultural leader in CRISPR and other new breeding techniques

February 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
It’s 8:30 East African Standard Time. I disembark from a van filled with science journalists from Kampala, Uganda and accompanied by stakeholders from Uganda National Farmers Federation at the National Agriculture Crops Resources Research Institute in Namulonge.
We are on a fact-finding trip about research and the …

Green super rice for a greener revolution

February 22nd, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has developed Green Super Rice (GSR), a new breed of rice varieties that perform well in the toughest conditions.
GSR is a mix of more than 250 different …

Improved seeds could help Kenyan farmers battling armyworm

February 22nd, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

During a field tour of farms to investigate the extent of damage caused by fall armyworms, Dr Murenga Mwimali a principal scientist and maize breeder at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization’s (Kalro), Katumani Station, had something to inspire the farmers.
Dr Mwimali said the organisation had already developed better seeds …

Tanzania sets record in potato research, to release improved varieties

February 21st, 2018 / The Citizen, Tanzania

Tanzania has excelled in experimental trials of high yielding and disease resistant potato varieties under a climate smart agriculture programme aimed to improve food security.
Three of 14 varieties brought into the country by the International Potato Centre (CIP) for field trials in Lushoto district did well and two of them …

Ghana: Farmers to increase yields with new biological fertilizer

February 21st, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Farmers in seven Districts of the Upper East Region–Bongo, Builsa North, Builsa South, Pusiga, Nabdam, Binduri and Garu-Tempane–are to increase their incomes from legumes cultivation, with the introduction of a new biological fertilizer, simply known as ‘inoculant’.
The inoculant, a product of Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), its …