In the news...

Changing where crops are grown could feed an additional 825 million people, study finds

November 7th, 2017 / YaleE360

The world could feed an additional 825 million people, produce 10 percent more food calories, and grow 19 percent more protein simply by adjusting what crops are grown where, according to a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience. The study looked at 14 crops that make up 72 percent …

Plant genetics, ecologically based farming and the future of food

July 21st, 2017 / John Wiley, US

For 10,000 years, we have altered the genetic makeup of our crops. Conventional approaches are often quite crude, resulting in new varieties through a combination of trial and error, and without knowledge of the precise function of the genes that are being transferred. Such methods include grafting or forced pollinations …

New initiative to accelerate crop improvement for food security in Africa

June 19th, 2017 / Biosciences Africa

A new initiative to speed up crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa – the Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvement in Africa (ACACIA) was launched today. The alliance has been established by founding members, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) through the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-ILRI (BecA-ILRI) Hub in Kenya and …

Why farmers should be interested in beans

June 15th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Traditionally, beans were grown for home consumption but after realising the benefits, bean growing transcended to being commercial. Reasons why you should be grow beans include a ready market, they grow fast, they’re not susceptible to diseases, and they have nutritional value. And we give some quick tips on growing …

How healthy soils make for a healthy life

March 23rd, 2017 / The Conversation

The next time you bite into an apple, spare a thought for the soils that helped to produce it. Soils play a vital role, not just in an apple’s growth, but in our own health too. The formation of soil, pedogenesis, is a very slow process. Creating one millimetre …

EU: no patents on conventional plant breeding

February 24th, 2017 / hortibiz.com

Plant breeders must have free access to biological material in order to be able to breed new crop species. Patent law thus does not apply to conventional plant breeding. This was unanimously confirmed by the European Member States at the Competitiveness Council in Brussels. The Member States indicated that it …

Yield gaps – social aspects

January 12th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

Yield gaps, the difference between actual production and what is potentially achievable under optimum growing conditions, are greatest in the poorer parts of the world, and these regions are also the ones that are predicted to be most vulnerable to the combined pressures of increases in population, the effects of …

The race to create super-crops

May 22nd, 2016 / Nature

Old-fashioned breeding techniques are bearing more fruit than genetic engineering in developing hyper-efficient plants. Read …

How to get the best out of animal manure

March 9th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Advice for B4FA Fellow and farmer, Michael Ssali. Farmers with small plots of land must take good care of the soil to get maximum crop yields. Such farmers use simple tools like hoes, spades and watering cans but they are best positioned to fully inspect their gardens and to successfully …

New crop varieties for Nigerian farmers

February 15th, 2016 / All Africa.com

The Federal Government has approved the release of 17 new high yield crop varieties to Nigerian farmers to enhance food production according to the National Varieties Release Committee (NVRC). NVRC chairman, Oladosu Awoyemi said at the 23rd meeting of the NVRC at Ibadan only 17 of the 24 crop …