In the news...

Coffee, Big Ag & why demonizing GE is counterproductive

December 1st, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

Meet the scientist, Dr Nir Oksenberg: “I think it is important for people to understand that we are not just trying to make a bunch of GMOs and hope one works. We spend years, sometimes decades, studying these plants. We don’t just want to make a plant better and …

As a coffee producer, Uganda can’t ignore climate change

October 14th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali

Masaka is one of Uganda’s most important coffee producing districts, and farmers there are worried that the rain shortage will compromise the crop quality of the entire November/December harvest. Coffee accounts for up to a third of Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings, providing employment to over five million people. As coffee …

Kenya: New coffee variety Ruiru 11 is high yielding

September 22nd, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

The grafted Ruiru 11 coffee variety will lead to increased output by reducing production costs by 30 per cent, Coffee Research Institute director Elijah Gichuru, has said. And unlike the conventional varieties, the grafted Ruiru 11 has more yield ranging between 15 and 20 kg per tree per year. …

Tanzanian farmer brings forest back to life

August 14th, 2015 / SciDev.net

The village of Nkoasenga in northern Tanzania is increasingly experiencing drought and soil degradation, which make it harder for local people to grow food and cash crops. Jonas Somi, a 65-year-old farmer from Nkoasenga, blames the village’s environmental problems on deforestation and is planting fast-growing Grevillea robusta to provide shade …

Superior seeds, better farming practices make Lwanga a millionaire

August 6th, 2015 / The Sunrise

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports: Lwanga’s name is almost synonymous with success in modern agriculture across the sub-county and perhaps the entire district of Lwengo. His ten-acre garden stands out in stark contrast with his neighbours’, thanks in great part to his appreciation of the science of the use of …

Why growing clonal Robusta coffee is advantageous

July 23rd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali talks to John Mugera of Nabulago village in Butale Parish, Kabonera Sub-county, Masaka District, who is both an agriculture extension service officer and also a farmer. His work involves giving advice to farmers in the predominantly coffee growing district. “I always tell them to appreciate the …

Tanzania: farmers lead campaign to revive coffee

June 15th, 2015 / Tanzania Daily News

For several years now, Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) has been working hard to support groups of farmers to introduce new improved coffee varieties that produce high yields within a short time. TaCRI says the new varieties are also resistant to diseases like Coffee Berry Diseases (CBD). Inter-cropping of the …

Ugandan Coffee farmers acquire new wilt resistant varieties

June 10th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Ugandans are set to benefit from a line of new coffee varieties that are resistant to the rampant coffee wilt disease that has wiped out more than 15 million coffee trees. The new coffee varieties which have been bred at the country’s National Coffee Research Institute is expected to …

Helping youth to help farmers

May 28th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

The Ugandan government is distributing over 300million coffee seedlings in a period at a rate of 100 million annually. These are distributed freely to farmers in over the 82 coffee growing districts of the country. For the smooth running of the project, UCDA has identified about 1500 coffee seedling …

Saving coffee from extinction

May 24th, 2015 / BBC.co.uk

“Richer countries buy it, roast it and drink it, but have not paid for the agronomy. Only now is the industry waking up and seeing the need for it. The coffee industry has realised no-one else is doing it – it’s going to have to be us,” says Dr …