In the news...

New app diagnoses crop diseases

September 16th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:

A team of scientists in conjunction with the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) Namulonge has developed a mobile phone application which uses artificial intelligence to accurately identify crop pests and diseases in the field.

The app also delivers the latest advice to manage all major diseases …

Advanced breeding paves the way for disease-resistant beans

September 12th, 2019 / Phys.org

ETH researchers are involved in the development and implementation of a method to efficiently breed for disease-resistant beans in different regions of the world. Their work will help to improve the livelihood and food security of smallholders in developing countries. Read more … …

China farmers warned to avoid illegal African swine fever vaccines

September 4th, 2019 / South China Morning Post

China’s agriculture ministry is warning farmers against using illegal experimental vaccines in the country’s ongoing battle with African swine fever.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said it had ordered local governments to step up checks and crack down on illegal vaccines.

The move was in …

Agriculture groups tout the benefits of animal composting

August 16th, 2019

Composting brings up images of buckets of scrap food and lawn trimmings. But the University of Illinois Extension Office took the idea one step further as they showed farmers how to compost livestock. 

Brian Gordon is a farmer in Iroquois County.

“One of the biggest diseases right now is actually African swine fevers — …

Small-scale farms hit hardest by African swine fever

August 15th, 2019

Almost five million pigs in Asia have now died or been culled because of the spread of African swine fever (ASF), according to reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs was first detected in Asia …

African swine fever continues relentless spread through Asia and Europe

August 15th, 2019

Serbian officials this week confirmed that African swine fever has infected hogs in their nation, making it the 18th country battling the incurable disease.

The virus’ worldwide spread began in earnest a year ago when it was reported in China. It has since spread relentlessly through that country and beyond, first …

Africa still wary of GMOs

August 12th, 2019

Scientists argued that GMOs can help in many ways, including developing crop varieties that are resistant to diseases, drought, predators or pests, a move that they say will lead to food security in Africa. But not everyone agrees … Read more … …

When you decide to become a farmer

August 6th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Some people become farmers in their early youth and many others begin later, after years of formal employment. 

However there are important considerations to make before making the decision to go into farming. You have to be certain about what you want to do — it could …

Crop protection: globally, farmers lose 30-40 percent of their crops due to pests and diseases

July 26th, 2019 / Farmers Review Africa

Globally, farmers lose 30-40 percent of their crops due to pests and diseases, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

To produce a good yield of a high quality, producers must protect their crop against insects, diseases and weeds. Small grain diseases affect production by reducing the yield and impairing the …

Half the world’s pigs are facing the largest animal disease outbreak in history

July 15th, 2019

The FOODTANK reports

The African Swine Fever (ASF) virus spreads between animals through direct contact or tick vectors, and it is highly stable in meat products and the environment. This means that even after going through processing, packaging, and transportation, products contaminated at the source can still spread the disease further. Dr. Andres Perez, …