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Centre aims to bridge gaps in climate-smart agriculture

February 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Africa Center of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation (Climate SABC) hosted by Haromaya University is aiming to train efficient agricultural and climate change experts in Africa.
The Center financed by the World Bank came to be operational in 2017 and is currently teaching 51 students drawn from Ethiopia, …

Researchers learn from plant viruses to protect crops

February 6th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In recent years, however, scientists have turned to inventive new ways to protect crops. Genetic modification techniques developed over the last 30 years, for example, can arm plants with defenses against viral invasion, while leaving crop yields and food quality unaffected. Some of these modified plants are now in the …

‘Wild’ genes open up opportunities for healthier, climate-smart rice

January 31st, 2018 / International Rice Research Institute

The genome sequencing of seven wild rice varieties has finally been completed. This breakthrough is expected to provide opportunities for breeders worldwide in developing better rice varieties that will respond to the changing needs of the farmers and the consumers.
This discovery is outlined in the article Genomes of 13 domesticated …

Understanding GMOs: genetic engineering and the future of coffee

January 31st, 2018 / Daily Coffee News

Studies suggest that by 2050, climate change will impact more than half the land currently used for coffee cultivation, creating conditions unsuitable for production. While climate change is difficult to predict, the scientific community agrees the future outlook for coffee production is dire unless immediate action is taken. The response …

Uganda: farmers should embrace technology

January 30th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
We came to learn about a month ago that President Museveni had referred the Biotechnology and Bio-safety Bill back to parliament for further debate. He was reportedly concerned about some issues that according to him were not well clarified in the bill.
His refusal to sign …

Farming is not a bed of roses

January 26th, 2018 / Daily Monitor

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes
Nobody should deceive you that farming is a bed of roses and that it always leads to riches. Like all other occupations, there are big challenges that farmers face in form of risks and uncertainties.
Anybody planning to go into farming must be determined to work hard …

Rwanda makes progress on continental agricultural plan

January 24th, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

Rwanda got the highest score, on Agricultural Transformation in Africa, and emerged 2017 Best performing country in implementing the seven commitments of the June 2014 Malabo Declaration.
The country scored 6.1 out of 10 when the 3.94 benchmark was set as the minimum score for a country to be on track …

IITA /AfDB launches bold plan to revolutionise agriculture in Africa

January 22nd, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

International Agriculture research institute, IITA and Africa Development Bank, AfDB are set to launch a bold plan to revolutionize African agriculture as
Scientists, development specialists, agricultural experts, representatives from national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), and entrepreneurs from the private sector mainly from Africa will assemble in IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria …

Increasing food production

January 18th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Last year the number of food insecure people in Africa rose from 220 million to 224million.
In its Regional Overview report the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) attributed the unfortunate rise to the changing weather patterns that caused poor harvests, loss of livestock, civil conflicts, and …

Rising temperatures put Africa’s rice production at risk

January 18th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

A new modelling study published today warns that the dry-season irrigated rice in West Africa’s Sahel region has reached the critical threshold of 37 degrees Celsius – the tipping point. Further temperature rise could devastate rice yields in this region due to decreasing photosynthesis at high temperatures.
This is an ominous …