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Scientists intensify crop breeding

September 20th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Ugandan scientists have intensified efforts to breed key crops using conventional and biotechnology mechanisms in a bid for farmers to grow high yielding crops which are also resistant to pests and diseases.
Scientists from National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) have been breeding hybrid varieties of crops such …

New genomics tool is being deployed in East African cassava fields

September 19th, 2017 / Medium

TED Senior Fellow and computational biologist Laura Boykin has made her life’s work to rid cassava — a staple root crop on which 800 million people around the world rely for their daily calories — of whitefly-borne virus. Now, with a team of international scientists, including co-Principal Investigators Dr Joseph Ndunguru and Dr Titus …

Do we need new coffee varieties?

September 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssale writes:
The Seeds of Gold magazine last week released news that the National Agricultural Research Organisation in collaboration with breeders at National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI), Kituuza in Mukono District, had introduced new robusta coffee varieties that are resistant to the dreaded Coffee Wilt Disease (CWD).
The …

Genetic markers against deadly cassava viruses found

September 18th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Scientists have identified genetic markers of resistance to two deadly viral diseases in cassava varieties of East African origin.
According to the scientists, the cassava varieties — Namikonga and Albert — which are genetically related through a West African cassava variety TME117 are preferred by farmers in Tanzania and have …

The price we pay for rejecting biotechnology

September 12th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
We are stuck in a paradoxical situation where the government is urging farmers to work hard when it is not doing much on its part to overcome the challenging national agricultural production constraints that could be reduced by the use of biotechnology.
An online newsletter, Genetic …

FAO to tackle army-worm disease in Africa

September 11th, 2017

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has developed a five year project known as `Fall Army-worm’ to control the spread of army-worm disease in Africa.
Mr Allan Hruska, the Principal Technical Coordinator of the project, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, that the task …

Next generation Golden Rice could be driven by CRISPR gene editing

September 1st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rice breeders today develop improved varieties from genetic breeding stock that has been advanced through thousands of generations and over many decades with conventional crossbreeding techniques, said Vibha Srivastava, professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences for the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas. Read …

Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

September 1st, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties. The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert. Read …

Agric agencies need more resources to fight Armyworm – Scientists

August 29th, 2017 / Joy Online, South Africa

The government has been urged to better resource agencies under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) if it is serious about avoiding another widespread destruction by the Fall Armyworm.
Dr. Audrey Vanderpuye of the School of Agriculture at the University of Cape Coast says the Plant Protection and Regulatory …

Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

August 29th, 2017 / Daily News, Tanzania

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties.
The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert.
Mostly grown by Tanzanian farmers, the varieties …