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Technology will drive scientific progress in Africa not the other way round

August 22nd, 2016 / Quartz Africa

Calestous Juma writes: “The future of the African youth in the world of science and technology is increasingly being recognized. In his optimistic prognosis, the president of the University of Cambridge, Leszek Borysiewicz says Africa’s talented youth “will drive the science and technology agenda of the future.”
Realizing this vision, however, …

Scientists gear up to battle invasive species

August 19th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

A research programme to tackle invasive species that kill plants and sicken animals is getting under way at the United Kingdom’s Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI).
The programme, worth US$50 million, aims to find scientific solution that help farmers to either defeat or adapt to the presence of invasive …

People-powered science in Africa: a boost for democracy and knowledge

August 19th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Citizen science has an important place in Africa. It is a way of driving public engagement; of creating linkages and dialogue between science and society. It can inspire people to take an interest in science and enthuse young people about careers in science. It helps make science a part of …

Why farmers need traning in value addition

August 18th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Post-harvest food losses in Uganda are mainly experienced by two categories of farmers—the producers of rapidly perishable foodstuffs such as bananas, vegetables, fruits, milk, and vegetables—and the producers of semi-perishable items such as onions, ginger, yams, cassava and potatoes. Yet if such farmers are introduced …

Africa must do more to harness young people’s entrepreneurial drive

August 15th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

As the world marks International Youth Day on August 12, it’s important to consider the role that African youth can play in driving sustainable development. There’s no doubt that – given the right tools – young people have the skill and ingenuity to solve the continent’s biggest challenges. And research …

Ghana: New skills inspire farmers

August 12th, 2016 / Africa Renewal, US

Mr. Kankam-Boadu, who had benefitted from Marshal Papworth, a UK-based charity that provides agricultural and horticultural scholarships to students from developing countries, started by teaching farmers how to increase crop yields through the use of high-yielding and drought-tolerant crop varieties, and how to apply organic manure and inorganic fertilisers to …

Orange farmers get tips on disease management

August 11th, 2016 / Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports: “The potential of orange farming in Uganda is huge, but the benefits are increasingly becoming elusive because of the rise in pests and diseases that attack the crop, costing farmers huge sums of money in pesticides and lost incomes.
“Thanks however to support from Korea Programme …

Beyond CRISPR: A guide to the many other ways to edit a genome

August 11th, 2016 / Nature, UK

The CRISPR–Cas9 tool enables scientists to alter genomes practically at will. Hailed as dramatically easier, cheaper and more versatile than previous technologies, it has blazed through labs around the world, finding new applications in medicine and basic research.
But for all the devotion, CRISPR–Cas9 has its limitations. It is excellent at …

Public perception key for success of GM technology

August 9th, 2016 / Live Mint, India

The government needs to educate and create public awareness of the benefits of biotechnology in agriculture, Trilochan Mohapatra, secretary in the department of agricultural research and education, told a gathering of industry leaders and scientists … See …

Training institute for farmers launched

August 8th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Most farmers carry out their activities, be it keeping livestock or poultry, crop or fisheries production, do it on subsistence or semi-subsistence scale. So, there is need to encourage these farmers to practise agriculture as a business enterprise to attract a competitive market for their …