In the news...

Robust evidence of declines in insect abundance and biodiversity

November 1st, 2019

There are certain times in life — whether in our relationships, personal health or scientific research — when we think that we know something but the evidence is less than conclusive. An accumulation of clues or symptoms might suggest a particular interpretation without being strong enough to clinch the argument. …

HarvestPlus supports sweet potato mobile app project

October 31st, 2019

HarvestPlus Uganda has been collaborating with the BioInnovate Africa project and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF) to develop an information and communication technology (ICT) platform for certifying vitamin A orange sweet potato vines.

The ICT platform, which is accessible via a mobile application and a website, allows farmers to …

Can TELA maize solve the acute food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa?

October 30th, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most food-insecure region in the world, with an estimated 237 million throughout the region suffering from chronic undernutrition.

Frequent droughts are partially to blame for the persistent food shortages and the dry conditions make farming particularly challenging for the region’s smallholders. The TELA Maize Project has been working …

Engineered molecule could protect key food crops from intensifying droughts as climate changes

October 29th, 2019

An engineered small molecule called opabactin that targets the receptor for the hormone abscisic acid (ABA), which plants release in stressful conditions, limited water loss in Arabidopsis, tomato, and wheat, and improved wheat’s tolerance of drought-like conditions in the lab, according to a study published today (October 24) in Science. It …

Fighting Africa’s fall armyworm invasion with radio shows and phone apps

October 29th, 2019

The invasive fall armyworm is native to the Americas and was first found in Africa in early 2016. It has since spread to nearly all of sub-Saharan Africa.Fall armyworm is a voracious pest of over 80 plant species including maize, millet, rice, and sorghum and has been causing food insecurity …

How agroecology can improve life for Africa’s smallholder farmers

October 28th, 2019

Nassib Mugwanya’s call for attention to the difficult reality of smallholder farmers across Uganda and Africa is welcome. Life as a smallholder farmer is arduous and full of uncertainties, and many challenges will be (or already are) exacerbated by climate change. Efforts to improve living conditions for this large group ought …

How these women scientists will help Africa adapt to changing climate

October 15th, 2019

A group of 25 women from eastern and western Africa have joined the list of young researchers racing to bridge the shortage of women agriculture scientists in Africa.

The women will build the next generation of scientists working with smallholder farmers to battle climate change in Africa’s troubled agriculture sector, according …

Why biotechnology is necessary in agriculture

October 14th, 2019

The Federal Government in recent times has been developing a lot of of measures for the application of biotechnology in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

Prof. Alex Akpa, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) stated at the opening of a 5-day workshop on Basic Laboratory Training on Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) …

How farmers can gain better farm knowledge

October 14th, 2019

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Good farmers should continuously seek new knowledge about their work. Farming is dynamic and agricultural practices keep changing. New markets for agricultural products often come with new conditions that have to be met. 

Time and again challenges crop up and a farmer will need guidance on how …

South African youth doesn’t like farming because it’s not sexy. True or false?

October 9th, 2019

Some agribusinesses and agriculturalists argue that vocational training institutions are not efficiently producing skills needed for agriculture today, and that might be part of the reason why some young people are not finding work in this sector.

It has become fashionable in conferences to say “let’s make agriculture sexy in order …