In the news...

Researchers work on drought-tolerant maize for Africa

October 4th, 2017 / VOA News

In Zimbabwe, researchers say they are breeding maize that is drought and heat resistant as part of efforts to fight hunger across Africa, where maize is a staple food.
In Hezekaya Village in Gokwe, about 200 kilometers west of Harare, cotton is what most people plant because it can grow in …

Local – not just commercial – crop seeds key to food security, Malawi admits

October 3rd, 2017 / Thompson-Reuters

Malawi’s government has given in to mounting pressure to recognise the importance of locally grown and saved crop seeds, as well as commercially produced varieties, as it revises the country’s farm policies.
In a meeting in the capital this month, representatives of non-governmental organisations told Erica Maganga, principal secretary in the …

Safe crop storage – vital for farmers

October 3rd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Farmers cannot put a lot of effort into crop production without giving due consideration to its storage. Crop storage is an important issue in the farming business which agricultural extension services providers and local leaders should emphasise to the farmers as much as they emphasise efficient …

Saving chocolate: Scientists develop disease-resistant hybrid cacao clones that dramatically increase yields

October 3rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Few cacao varieties are widely cultivated, and that’s a problem: Like many other crops, cacao is under constant threat from diseases and environmental challenges exacerbated by our tendency to grow only a few varieties with similar or identical genetic traits and defects.
In the early 1980s, Dr. Phillips-Mora worked to identify …

Farmers asked to adopt agriculture technologies

October 2nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Agricultural productivity in Africa continues to remain far below the potential of the continent although Africa has experienced tremendous progress in the last decade therefore adoption of modern technologies still lags.
The successes of agricultural research has yet to fully translate into appreciable rapid agricultural growth …

Africa called on to embrace plant genetic varieties to boost food security

October 2nd, 2017 / Xinhua, China

African economies should take the lead in embracing crop genetic varieties in a bid to enhance food security and sustainable agriculture, experts said.
They made the call during the African Union regional forum on the Implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in Kigali, …

Ways to get high yields from cassava

October 2nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

From B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru
Cassava is an important staple food crop for many people in Uganda especially West Nile, Northern and Eastern Uganda.
It is also widely grown in other parts of the country such as Kasese as a famine reserve crop. It has high yielding capability, easy to grow …

Tanzania, UN ink $2 million pacts to fight armyworms

September 30th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has entered into two agreements worth $2million with the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries to boost surveillance of Fall Armyworm (FAW) across the country.
A fall armyworm outbreak has been causing considerable crop damage in some countries including in Tanzania. The pest …

South Africa: farmers speak out against new plant bills

September 30th, 2017 / AllArica.com

“Seed is something that is sacred. Seed is life. In our tradition, it is about culture, identity; it’s about sharing … If everything is for sale, when will it stop?” asked Rifqah Tifloen at a public hearing on the Plant Improvement Bill and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill in Port …

New app diagnoses crop diseases in the field and alerts rural farmers

September 30th, 2017 / CGIAR

The team behind a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose crop diseases in the field has won a $US100,000 award to help expand their project to help millions of small-scale farmers across Africa.
Cassava brown streak disease is spreading westward across the African continent, and together with …