In the news...

High yielding drought resistant bean variety that matures in two months is ready for market

August 28th, 2018 / FarmBiz Africa

Bean farmers in Kenya can now harvest up to 600kg per acre in just two months, thanks to a new high yielding variety dubbed Kenya Mali or KAT SW-12 launched in the market two years ago.
Kenya Mali, which was bred by researchers from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization …

Ugandan farmers to use app to identify fall armyworm

August 20th, 2018 / East African

Farmers in Uganda can now quickly identify and report the presence of the fall armyworm using a mobile application system that has been jointly launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (Famews) is already in use in …

African swine fever’s most recent victim in 2018: Ghana

August 17th, 2018 / Farm Journal's PORK

The Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reports that Ghana has seen its first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) in 2018. The disease seems to be spreading at a faster pace this year in Europe, Asia and Africa.
“Ghana confirmed the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in five districts in …

USDA unveils new gene-stacking tool to prevent plant diseases

August 16th, 2018 / The Scientist

If climate change is the new normal, farmers in some regions of the world will have to get used to fighting mold and mildew. For wheat growers in particular, fungal blights are already a big problem—and only expected to worsen as weather patterns change. Fungal pathogens are advancing northwards at …

Ghanaian farmers enlist drones to combat fall armyworm invasion

August 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

Farmers at Janga in the West Mamprusi municipality of the Northern Region [in Ghana] are learning how to use drones and other newly introduced chemicals meant to fight an invasion of fall armyworms in the area. The intervention comes at a time when the worms have wreaked havoc on maize …

Securing East Africa’s cassava

August 1st, 2018 / CGIAR

Morag Ferguson is thrilled with the results of a recent genotyping study. It seems that the cassava landraces she has been working on from South, East and Central Africa are pretty unique. The genetic diversity maps show this specific group of landraces branching off clearly in isolation from the cassava …

Genetically modifying rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins

August 1st, 2018 / Phys.org

A team of researchers from Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. has genetically modified a strain of rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the technique by which they modified the rice and how it might …

10 ways CRISPR will revolutionize environmental science

July 31st, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

The hot new gene editing technique CRISPR has been making headlines for its potential to treat or prevent diseases. But medicine isn’t the only science where CRISPR is opening doors. This powerful genetic engineering tool is already helping scientists develop technologies to protect or repair the environment from human harm.
CRISPR: …

How to grow sweet potatoes for cash

July 30th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Sweet potato is one of the most important starchy crops. It is an herbaceous, perennial creeper cultivated as an annual crop.
In Africa, Uganda is the biggest producer of sweet potatoes and third in the world after China and India.
The orange flesh variety is preferred because it …

How to control bean stem maggot pest

July 27th, 2018 / FarmBiz Africa

Kenya such as Machakos, Makindu and Kajiado where it causes yield losses of between 50 to 100 per cent according to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization.
The leaves of damaged plants show mining tracks where the maggots feed. The lower parts of the stems become dry, swollen and cracked. …