In the news...

The enduring power of radio for agricultural extension in Africa

October 2nd, 2019

Charles Wandera is a farmer in Masindi district, Uganda. The area was recently hit with an infestation of the invasive Fall Armyworm; recently arrived in Africa, Armyworm caught farmers off guard in Masindi, leaving them unaware of how to defend their crops against the pest. Wandera turned to radio for …

IAEA, FAO help develop bananas resistant to major fungal disease

October 1st, 2019

Bananas may be the world’s favourite fruit, but plantations worldwide are increasingly under threat from a new fungus, which destroys banana plants threatening farmers’ livelihoods and the industry.

Confined to Southeast Asia for decades, the Fusarium wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4) was spotted for the first time in Africa recently and …

Shifting the needle on cocoa production practices worldwide

October 1st, 2019

Did you know that, typically, less than 7 per cent of the price of your chocolate bar goes to cocoa producers? Or that large amounts of global cocoa production are associated with illegal deforestation and biodiversity losses?

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners have been working for many years on projects aimed at …

Nigeria stresses importance of biotechnology for food security

September 27th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, announced that the Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria is working hard in applying genetic engineering and biotechnology. This is to ensure food safety and security in the country, as it recognizes the importance of both fields in boosting local food production and decreasing the need for continuous …

Boosting farmer incomes in agricultural supply chains

September 24th, 2019 / Stanford Social Innovation Review

In the Ugandan coffee sector, smallholder farmers are starting to get a better deal. There, since 2003, a network of coffee cooperatives called the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) has been empowering smallholders to maintain ownership over the coffee they grow all the way through the value chain, …

Africa: vegetarian diets not always the most climate-friendly, researchers say

September 18th, 2019 / AllAfrica.com

Raising dairy cows for milk, butter and cheese requires large amounts of energy, land and chemical inputs, emitting greenhouse gases

It may be possible to help tackle climate change while still munching on the occasional bacon sandwich or slurping a few oysters, a new study suggested on Tuesday.

Scientists found that diets …

African countries to develop climate-resilient agriculture systems

September 16th, 2019 / DownToEarth

Fifty-five African countries recently signed a five-point declaration to increase the climate adaptation and resilience of the continent’s food systems.  

The declaration, signed by government representatives at the African Green Revolution Forum – 2019 in Accra, Ghana on September 4, 2019, recognises climate change as a challenge to Africa’s food …

Ban on GM technology, biggest obstacle to food security, scientists say

September 16th, 2019 / KBC, Kenya

The Kenyan government should embrace the use of biotechnology in order to boost food security.

According to scientists, the ban of Genetically Modified (GM) technology imposed in the country in 2012 has been the biggest obstacle to food sustainability.

The scientists have for the last ten years been carrying out successful Confined …

New app diagnoses crop diseases

September 16th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:

A team of scientists in conjunction with the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) Namulonge has developed a mobile phone application which uses artificial intelligence to accurately identify crop pests and diseases in the field.

The app also delivers the latest advice to manage all major diseases …

Advanced breeding paves the way for disease-resistant beans

September 12th, 2019 / Phys.org

ETH researchers are involved in the development and implementation of a method to efficiently breed for disease-resistant beans in different regions of the world. Their work will help to improve the livelihood and food security of smallholders in developing countries. Read more … …