In the news...

Why we need to pay attention

June 18th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
The messages we seem to be getting all the time from our local leaders are about encouraging farmers to increase production. Yet successful farming is not merely about large quantities.
Nor is it true that big volumes always earn high profits. Rather most consumers are more concerned …

Why climate-smart agriculture is crucial to Africa

June 11th, 2018 / SciDev.net

Agriculture is a risky business in Africa due to dangers such as uncertain weather and poor rural infrastructure but a new detailed guide on the status of and opportunities for climate smart agriculture (CSA) could offer farmers the much needed break.
The detailed guide for CSA that cover 14 African countries …

FAO, Rabobank renew partnership to help African farmers

June 6th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Rabobank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to renew their partnership to boost productivity for small farmers
Africa FarmingThe partnership between FAO and Rabobank began in 2013.
The partnership, which began in 2013, has helped small-scale farmers and cooperatives in developing countries become economically …

Uganda’s scientists strive to use biotechnology to solve agricultural, health and environmental challenges

June 4th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project/

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
It is morning time, we are in a hotel based at the center of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, attending a stakeholders meeting on the subject how biotechnology cuts across all science-related sectors.
Among the attendees are students and recent graduates with degrees biotechnology. Among those …

Sub-Saharan farmers are being bankrupted… by a worm

June 1st, 2018 / Huffington Post

The fall armyworm infestation in sub-Saharan Africa is bankrupting farmers who cannot afford expensive insecticides to protect their crops. Struggling farmers are now resorting to selling off their land to the highest bidder. Farmers say the pest, which was first detected in central and western Africa in 2016, has become …

African countries need to push climate smart agriculture

May 30th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The World Bank recently launched one of its largest climate smart agriculture initiatives in India. Through this $420 million initiative, the bank expects to reach over 25 million smallholder farmers working on 3.5 million hectares of land. The project will support climate-smart agricultural practices including crop diversification and planting of …

Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops

April 12th, 2018 / John Innes Centre, UK

A new study has isolated a gene controlling shape and size of spikelets in wheat in a breakthrough which could help breeders deliver yield increases in one of the world’s most important crops.
The team from the John Innes Centre say the underlying genetic mechanism they have found is also …

Opposing ‘Golden Rice’ is anti-human

April 10th, 2018 / National Review, US

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if half a million destitute children could be saved each year from blindness and/or death from Vitamin A deficiency? Well, they can be by adding a simple GMO food to their diets known as “golden rice.”
Golden rice is not toxic. It does not genetically engineer, say, …

Kenyan maize farmers raise alarm as armyworms resurface

April 9th, 2018 / Xinhua, China

Kenyan maize farmers are set to go through another tough year as the fall armyworm strikes the crop again this season.
The pest, which was first detected in Kenya in March last year, contributed to decline in maize production, from over 40 million bags production a year to 32 million, according …

The USDA says Crispr-edited foods are just as safe as ones bred the old-fashioned way

April 4th, 2018 / Quartz

Last week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would no longer regulate crops that have been genetically edited.
Gene editing, which includes Crispr techniques, enables researchers and now farmers, to genetically nip and tuck the DNA of living things and sell them to consumers. This could mean …