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African agricultural land becoming more attractive to investors

September 28th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza

In recent years investors have started discovering the potential of agriculture more and more. Especially Africa is interesting to these investors. That’s partly due to the enormous amount of agricultural land available, according to the FAO sub-saharan Africa has 90 million hectares of arable land available. Only 25 percent of …

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 …

Training programme set to boost rice output in East Africa

September 12th, 2017 / The Citizen, Tanzania

The Kilimanjaro Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) has offered to train agricultural experts in East Africa on improved production of rice, one of the staple food crops in the region.
This was affirmed last week by the project coordinator, Mr Motonori Tomitaka, at the end of an eight-day training course on improved …

Scientists expand anti-striga seed to East Africa

July 21st, 2017 / News Ghana

African scientists said they have expanded innovative anti-striga seed that has led to the reclamation of 20,000 hectares of arable land in Kenya to other East African countries.
Denis Kyetere, Executive Director of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), said the expansion aims to improve the productivity of maize in the region …

Action plan developed to tackle fall armyworm in Africa

May 16th, 2017 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: Research that explores the interaction between fall armyworm life patterns and insecticide spray timing is urgently needed to tackle the pest currently devastating maize in Africa, scientists say.
The fall armyworm, scientifically called Spodoptera frugiperda, is native to the Americas, and attacks maize and a variety …

Uganda: Armyworm – how prepared are we?

April 12th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Joseph Mayengo a smallholder farmer at Manja Village Kisekka Sub-county in Lwengo District suddenly discovered that his maize crop was under attack by strange looking caterpillars.
They had perforated holes in the leaves and in the stems, and it was clear that there was little chance for …

Blow to Kenya’s food security situation as armyworms invade farms

April 11th, 2017 / News Ghana

Kenya’s food security situation faces a fresh threat as armyworms invade maize farms in different parts of the east African nation.
The country is currently grappling with a serious food crisis mainly caused by poor rains that has seen prices rise considerably, with a 2kg tin of dry maize going …

Soybean farmers in east and southern Africa get a boost

April 5th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Smallholder farmers in east and southern Africa could benefit from a project to innovate ways to help unlock barriers in regional soybean value chains.
The UK-funded FoodTrade East and Southern Africa (FoodTrade ESA) has awarded £1million (about US$1.2 million) to Classic Foods Limited of Kenya and Seba Foods Limited of Zambia …

East Africa gears for synthetic biology

March 23rd, 2017 / ISAAA

East African countries have the potential to apply synthetic biology in various spheres of their economies, observed participants of the recent UK-East Africa workshop on synthetic biology held in Nairobi, Kenya. Synthetic biology, a relatively new concept, especially in Africa, is a field of biology that adopts an engineering approach …

Drought-resistant grass to spur milk production

November 23rd, 2016 / All Africa.com

Struggling East African dairy farmers could benefit from new varieties of high-quality, drought-resistant forage grass known as Brachiaria that boosts milk production by 40 per cent, a report says.
The forage grass could enable farmers to increase their incomes, according to experts at the Colombia-headquartered International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) …