In the news...

Scientists examine threats to food security – even if we meet the Paris climate targets

April 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

We have delayed action for so long on handling climate change, we now can no longer can “will it happen?” Rather we have to ask “how bad will it be?” and “what can be done about it?” As our society thinks about what we should do to reduce our carbon …

GMO maize could halt devastating fall army worm invasion in Uganda—if it gets approved

April 4th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Mary Yangi trekked a long journey from South Sudan to Uganda’s West Nile region to settle as a refugee and, a few months later, into farming. Unlike others, who were reliant upon food rations from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the 59-year-old widow saw …

Nigeria: More farm households adopt improved cassava varieties

April 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

Findings by the Cassava Monitoring Survey (CMS) have shown that over 60 per cent of farm households have adopted improved cassava varieties in the country.
This was revealed at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Abia State, by the Tanzania-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Director, Dr. Victor …

Guarding against post harvest losses

April 3rd, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
It is difficult to emphasise clean and safe crop post harvesting practices among cash trapped farmers with very little access to knowledge, information, and improved technology like is the case in most of our rural farming communities.
The effort to guard against post-harvest losses should begin with …

Unleash the power of young Africans: Supporting the farmers of tomorrow

March 29th, 2018 / Compact 2025

The number of young people between ages 15 and 24 is growing rapidly. The youth bulge is particularly pronounced in Africa and south Asia, where the youth population is expected to double in the next 30 years. As of 2012, 10 million young people in sub-Saharan Africa were entering the …

Myths and misleading claims about fertilizers and pesticides lead to GMO fear mongering

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Why did activists trash experimental crops of genetically modified (GM) maize and oilseed rape in the 1990s in the UK? Why were their activities closely followed by a pliant media?
Not having been closely involved with plant breeding, my first reaction was to wonder what I had missed that led the …

The future of organic farming and gene editing

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

It’s become popular in recent years for some to call for a shift away from conventional farming and wholly into organic. But is this even feasible? Not when you compare the yields of both farming methods. Organic yields are usually 20-30 percent below conventional yields, with the sometimes exception of …

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast

March 28th, 2018 / University of Exeter, UK

Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world’s rice crop each year.
An international team led by the University of Exeter showed that chemical genetic inhibition of a single protein in the fungus stops it spreading inside …

Support for cassava development for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

March 28th, 2018 / Cornell CALS

Cassava is vital to the food security of millions of Africans who eat some form of the root crop daily. Although cassava breeders are making progress, they still face significant challenges in developing disease-resistant varieties that also increase overall yield and respond to the needs of smallholder farmers and processors. …

Nigeria to use biotechnology to improve crops

March 27th, 2018 / Nws Agency of Nigeria

Dr Rose Gidado, the Country Coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), says Nigeria has concluded plans to use biotechnology as tool to improve agricultural produce and spur economic development.
Gidado made the disclosure on Thursday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to her, the measure will go …