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Soil pollution and its effects

May 8th, 2018 / Farmers Review Africa

Soil pollution poses a big threat to agricultural productivity, food safety, and human health. Unfortunately, according to a new FAO report released earlier on this week, far too little is known about the scale and severity of that threat. Regrettably, soil is a finite resource. This means its loss and …

Microbes in soil help sorghum stay strong against droughts

April 23rd, 2018 / Inside Science

Scientists want to know how one of the world’s most important grain crops, sorghum, can tolerate months of harsh, dry conditions. Now, for the first time, scientists have looked at the soil near sorghum plants to learn what role microbes play in the crop’s unique ability to endure drought. Scientists hope …

Scientists examine threats to food security – even if we meet the Paris climate targets

April 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

We have delayed action for so long on handling climate change, we now can no longer can “will it happen?” Rather we have to ask “how bad will it be?” and “what can be done about it?” As our society thinks about what we should do to reduce our carbon …

Climate Smart Agriculture, combating climate change across Africa

March 21st, 2018 / Devdiscourse.com

The impact of global climate change is particularly felt in agriculture, as rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and increased pests and diseases pose new and bigger risks to the global food system.
However, at the UN climate talks, the concept of ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture’(CSA), an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural systems …

Disease-resistant GMO crops can reduce pesticide use

March 19th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Recently, University of Florida plant geneticists Zhonglin Mou and Kevin Folta, along with their team of graduate students, announced a new method to fight common diseases in fruit plants. Their discovery could drastically reduce the use of fungicides if widely implemented by growers!
Unfortunately, their methods may never be put to …

Distant cousins of domesticated crops harbor traits to feed a hungry planet

March 13th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Recently, scientists found that more frequent flooding caused by storm and rainfall along with erratic temperature are responsible for the resurgence of phytophthora blight, a devastating disease that weakens pigeonpea stems irrespective of soil types and cropping patterns. With climate change, new invasive pests and changes in the farming landscape, …

Misery for farmers as coffee trees wilt

March 5th, 2018 / Sunrise, Uganda

By B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya
In September last year, Godfrey Ssekankya, a prominent coffee farmer from Miseebe, Bulera sub-county Mityana District, had high hopes of getting a good yield from his coffee farm come round this harvest season starting April. The sense of optimism arose from the heavy flowering he witnessed, …

Green super rice for a greener revolution

February 22nd, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has developed Green Super Rice (GSR), a new breed of rice varieties that perform well in the toughest conditions.
GSR is a mix of more than 250 different …

Why sorghum is valued

February 16th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

Sorghum is a flowering plant in the family of grass botanically known as poaceae. There are 25 species of sorghum in the world.
There are species grown for grain, while others are grown for fodder to feed livestock. Most are drought- and heat-tolerant, and the grains are used as food in …

Farming is not a bed of roses

January 26th, 2018 / Daily Monitor

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes
Nobody should deceive you that farming is a bed of roses and that it always leads to riches. Like all other occupations, there are big challenges that farmers face in form of risks and uncertainties.
Anybody planning to go into farming must be determined to work hard …