In the news...

As weeds outsmart the latest weedkillers, farmers are running out of easy options

April 15th, 2019 / The Salt

There was a moment, about 20 years ago, when farmers thought that they’d finally defeated weeds forever.

Biotech companies had given them a new weapon: genetically engineered crops that could tolerate doses of the herbicide glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. Farmers could spray this chemical right over their …

Mixed farming uplifts Migadde

April 15th, 2019 / World Vegetable Center

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

It is almost standard practice these days for young people to migrate to large towns in search of well-paying jobs, leaving great employment opportunities behind right in their home villages.

Many others, upon completion of their education in towns, choose to hang around there in the hope …

Moves to industrialise agriculture must involve smallholder farmers

April 15th, 2019 / The Independant, Nigeria

Dr. Ikechi Agbugba is the Senior Research Fellow, Africa Agricultural Agenda (AAA), the major arm of Surveillance Media Limited, and publisher of first Pan-African International Magazine on agriculture. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt. In this interview with SEYI TAIWO-OGUNTUASE, …

Hybrid rice seeds yielding hope

April 15th, 2019 / China Daily

Under the scorching sun, fields displaying 31 major hybrid rice varieties grown in Belt and Road countries attracted more than 700 rice experts and businesspeople on Friday to the golden paddy-themed national park in Sanya, Hainan province.

They had gathered on the tropical island in South China to attend the four-day …

The world needs smart bananas

April 15th, 2019 / Fresh Plaza

Millions of people depend on bananas. However, their cultivation is very vulnerable to diseases and the effects of climate change. There is a pressing need for a new more resistant banana variety. To this end, on Monday, 8 April the Belgian University, KU Leuven, and Bioversity International signed an agreement. …

Genetic breakthrough on tropical grass could help develop climate-friendly cattle farms

April 15th, 2019 / Phys.org

Cattle are a mainstay for many smallholders but their farms are often on degraded lands, which increases cattle’s impact on the environment and lowers their production of milk and meat. Researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have shown that Brachiaria grass species can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cattle …

Poor seeds affecting food production, say experts

April 9th, 2019 / The Star, Kenya

Director general  Eliud Kireger said the recycled seeds yield less than the newer hybrid seeds which the organisation has produced.

Research done by Karlo indicated that only 47 per cent of farmers were using the recommended seeds while fertiliser was being applied at 40 per cent of the accepted rates. Read …

Tunisia, South Korea use drones for agricultural use

April 9th, 2019 / Middle East Monitor

Tunisia, South Korea and African Development Bank yesterday signed a deal to establish a training centre for drones used for data collection to the enhance management of agricultural projects.

Tunisia’s Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fishery, Samir Taieb, said the project will help collect data for agricultural projects, following up …

How you can grow bananas successfully

April 9th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Successful banana farming begins with proper choice of the location for growing the crop, according to Constance Itungu, a crop technician at Kamenyamiggo National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) station in Lwengo District. 

Requirements “Bananas grow better in well drained loamy and fertile soil,” she says. “The area should …

The future of plant disease management

April 9th, 2019 / Sustainable, Secure Food

Plant scientists are looking for ways to help plants withstand infection. One of the best ways is to find plants that seem to have their own resistance. You might know individuals who never get a cold or flu – their immune systems seem to manage infections better than others. It’s …