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Farmers embracing irrigation, seed beds and fertilisers

September 16th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Most farmers in Uganda use rudimentary methods where they do not apply the often necessary agricultural inputs such as fertilisers. However, this trend is gradually changing with a number of them embracing certain farm practices such as irrigation, seed beds and fertilisers. One such farmer is Esau Okecho, a mixed …

How to boost cassava yields

September 11th, 2015 / The Nation, Nigeria

Many farming families depend on cassava, but low yields are becoming increasingly common. Indeed, productivity has been extremely low and achieving less than 10 tonnes per hectare. This worsens the farmers’ situation and keeps them in a cycle of extreme poverty. The situation, however, is going to change. Thanks …

Pest-resistant maize opens technological advancement

September 11th, 2015 / The Nation, Kenya

Professor Calestous Juma writes: Agricultural biotechnology critics are right to question the potential negative impact of the global dominance of the technology. However, they are wrong to assume that all the biotechnology introduced in emerging nations is driven by the interests of foreign firms.Kenya is on the cusp of becoming …

Nitrogen use efficient rice shows yield increase of 30 %

September 10th, 2015 / Market Watch, US

Major yield increase has the potential to change the economics of rice production and enhance food security. Four years of field trials with a leading line of Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) rice have demonstrated an average 30 percent yield increase over conventional controls. These results were reported jointly today by …

Weeds tell farmers the kind of soils they have and crops to grow

September 10th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Farmers can easily tell the type of soils on their farms by simply observing the type of weeds that grow in it. This is a cost-free and accurate method of soil sampling that can save farmers from hefty laboratory test costs, while still allowing them to determine the kinds of …

Kenya’s public comments on Bt maize environmental release

September 9th, 2015 / ISAAA, Kenya

Kenya National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has formally received comments from the public as it embarks on analyzing feedback for consideration of the application for environmental release (open cultivation), of genetically modified insect protected maize in Kenya. NBA Chief Executive Officer CEO Dr. Willy Tonui during a public hearing forum said …

An African plant breeder’s opinion on GMOs

September 8th, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

A modern-day plant breeder uses many different techniques. Transgenic technology (aka GMOs) can precisely change the genetics of a plant. While there are unproven fears about GMO safety, this technology could decrease the death toll from malnutrition. What is the perception of GMOs in the developing world? …

Kenyan Farmers raise concerns over GMO maize

September 8th, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

Farmers in Makueni last week got a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns on genetically modified maize. Peninah Mutunga, a farmer from Kathonzweni in Makueni county, Kenya, has had many questions since she first heard of genetically modified organisms. “Will the GM maize be labelled so that when …

Building better crops from the bottom up

September 7th, 2015 / Global Food Security, UK

Plant breeding using classical, top-down or forward genetic approaches has served us well in the millennia since people settled in agricultural communities and started crossing plants, selecting individuals with traits that made farming easier and the edible parts more nutritious. An alternative to top-down genetic crop improvement is the so …

Brazil: An indigenous village produces super cassava

September 4th, 2015 / World Bank

Brazil’s Terena indigenous community has combined ancient practices and new technologies to increase the quality and quantity of this popular root crop. The Terena began to experiment with new organic fertilizers that make use of cassava peels, and adopted a new variety of (non-transgenic) root: IAC 576-70, known as amarelinha, …