In the news...

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) …

How gene editing will change agriculture, including livestock rearing

November 23rd, 2016 / Successful Framing

Gene editing, led by the discovery of CRISPR-Cas, promises widespread, accelerated, and targeted discoveries. Areas of the genome linked to specific traits can now be precisely edited. Cut and paste, so to speak. Gene editing could eventually provide a catalog of options for farmers to order exactly what they need. …

Deal agreed to export Scottish seed potatoes to Kenya

November 22nd, 2016 / Aberdeen Press & Journal, UK

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, who announced the trade deal at AgriScot, said the potential market demand for Scottish seed tatties in Kenya was significant.
“Kenya grows around 160,000 hectares (395,360 acres) of potatoes annually but only 2% of this is grown from certified seed potatoes,” said Mr Ewing.
“This agreement with …

Suggestions on current food challenges

November 22nd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow and farmer Michael Ssali writes: Every year, 12 million hectares of land is degraded due to drought and desertification according to the 2016 Global Food Report.
The farmers who attended the second National Coffee Festival at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole, on November 4 were introduced to the Coffee Drought …

Promoting high value cassava products

November 22nd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes: Farmers have been trained in proper methods of drying cassava for quality flour. There is a cassava drier facility in Soroti where farmers learn the basic practices to be applied.
Cassava is identified as one of the emerging market oriented commodities will improve the livelihood of …

Nigeria poised to become Africa’s GMO superpower

November 21st, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) declared this week that genetically-modified foods are safe for consumption. The NAS, citing overwhelming evidence from developed countries and thousands of studies, said the country was ready for the products and that they were safe for production and beneficial to the nation.
The academy noted …

Experts launch action plan to help African agriculture adapt to climate change

November 18th, 2016 / CCAFS, Denmark

Leading scientists and policymakers have come together at the COP22 climate talks in Marrakech to determine priorities for collective action that will help African agriculture to build resilience to climate change and feed the chronically food insecure continent.
“Six of the 10 countries most affected by climate change are in Africa …

NASS pledges support for biosafety agency

November 18th, 2016 / Trace Reporter, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: Towards achieving her mandate, the Senate Committee on Environment has pledged its support for the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA).
A statement issued by the Agency’s Head of Press, ‎Ovuakporie Efe‎ on Thursday disclosed that the Senate Committee’s Co-Chairman, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi made the assurance during …

China is on a mission to modernize African farming – and find new markets

November 18th, 2016 / Quartz.com

Inside a gated white complex set back on a hill in southern Rwanda, a team of Chinese agronomists tends to 22 hectares (54 acres) of rice paddies, trenches of mushrooms, and rows of mulberry plants. Concrete storehouses surround a C-shaped building where they hold workshops on sericulture, soil conservation, and …

Should organic agriculture consider allowing gene-edited crops?

November 17th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Proponents of agricultural biotechnology are calling for a reconsideration of the organic opposition to GMOs in light of [New Plant Breeding Techniques] NPBTs.
In this paper, we have sketched the diversity that exists under both the terms organic and GM and shown how disagreements on this issue involve a clash …