In the news...

Farmers must revise their methods to adjust to climate change

November 15th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, writes: This year’s World Food Day was marked under the theme “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.” All farmers must revise their methods of production and do some things differently. Most parts of Uganda have not received sufficient rain in recent months and farmers …

Why small grains continue to resist winner takes all commercialisation

November 10th, 2016 / NewsDay, Zimbabwe

From Mali to Zimbabwe and South Africa to Southern Sudan, small grains remain an integral part of mainstream local food systems.
There are many reasons why small grains continue to pack a huge socio-economic punch in many countries.
To revisit and stimulate a frank discussion on the power of small grains, eMKambo …

No GMOs, more greenhouse gas

November 10th, 2016 / AgriNews, US

A global ban on genetically modified crops would raise food prices and add the equivalent of nearly a billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, a study by researchers from Purdue University shows.
Using a model to assess the economic and environmental value of GMO crops, agricultural economists found that …

USAID has launched a five-year sustainable Shea initiative for seven West African states

November 10th, 2016 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: USAID Ghana in partnership with the Global Shea Alliance has launched a five-year sustainable Shea initiative for seven West African countries. The initiative will see to the implementation of promotional and improved sustainable production activities to enhance the Shea industry in West Africa. See …

Developing country universities beginning to develop GM crops

November 8th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

… It is interesting that large developing countries, like China, India, Brazil and Argentina, and others of less magnitude, like Bangladesh, Philippines and socialist Cuba, as well as 14 African countries, are investing heavily in the development of GM crops with public funds through public agencies or state-companies to solve …

What the New York Times missed with its big GMO story

November 8th, 2016 / Grist, US

… GMOs really aren’t all associated with industrial farming. The disease-resistant papaya is a wonderful innovation. The insect-resistant eggplant seems to be reducing pesticide use in Bangladesh. This banana, this cassava, and this rice could all truly improve the lives of small farmers if those new crops make it over …

Cassava brown streak virus has a crazy fast evolutionary rate

November 7th, 2016 / Computational Biology for Sustainable Agriculture

Cassava is a major staple food for about 800 million people in the tropics and sub-tropical regions of the world. Production of cassava is significantly hampered by cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), which is caused by Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV). The disease …

COP22: a defining moment for Africa’s climate movement

November 4th, 2016 / AfricanBrains, Kenya

Prone to relentless weather changes and warming up significantly over the last decades, Africa has been exposed to droughts and floods that severely affect agricultural productivity, escalating water and food insecurity. By 2030, water stress-related conflicts will increase and spread across the region. As hunger continues to be a reality …

GMOs … the debate and the science

November 2nd, 2016 / B4FA

On 29 October, the New York Times published “Doubts about the promised bounty of GM crops” (reproduced below), a critique of GM that has prompted a flurry of responses from the scientific community. These include, thus far, plant scientist Andrew Kniss’s “Strawmen and selective statistics: Did The New York Times …

Vitamin A (golden) rice now a reality

November 1st, 2016 / Daily Star, Bangladesh

The first field trial of the Golden Rice in Bangladesh has yielded promising results, triggering prospect of the vitamin A-rich grain’s release as early as 2018.
Two months after harvesting the Bangladeshi version of Golden Rice line, GR2E BRRI dhan29, scientists at Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) found that rice grains …