In the news...

Technology hope for African farmers

October 16th, 2019

Precision farming techniques are being scaled down to be usable and affordable.

In Africa, a start-up scene is taking shape, capable of lifting millions out of poverty by transforming the continent’s largest industry: agriculture. The African continent contains more than a quarter of the world’s arable land, and farming contributes 15 …

The cereals imperative of future food systems

October 16th, 2019

Pioneering research on our three most important cereal grains — maize, rice, and wheat — has contributed enormously to global food security over the last half century, chiefly by boosting the yields of these crops and by making them more resilient in the face of drought, flood, pests and diseases. …

Food loss and waste is a global issue

October 16th, 2019

FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture 2019

The idea of food being lost or wasted sounds simple, but in practice there is no commonly agreed definition. 

Essentially, food loss and waste is the decrease in quantity or quality of food along the food supply chain. 

Food loss occurs along the food supply chain from …

International Day of Rural Women 2019 focuses on “climate resilience”

October 15th, 2019

The world’s sustainable future cannot be achieved without the involvement of rural women and girls. Read more …

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 …

Can the gene editing technology known as CRISPR help reduce biodiversity loss worldwide?

October 11th, 2019

It’s been an alarming year for the world’s outlook on biodiversity. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) put the world on notice that around 1 million species are facing extinction. A study published in August concluded that it would take New Zealand 50 million years to recover the diversity …

Synthetic fertilizer pollution threatens our ecosystems. Are nitrogen-fixing microbes the answer?

October 10th, 2019

PODCAST.

Farmers need nitrogen fertilizer to maximize crop yields. Without it, our food supply would be nowhere near as abundant as it is today, and natural sources of usable nitrogen are quite limited. Fortunately, researchers devised a method known as the Haber-Bosch process, in the early 1900s to “fix” nitrogen into …

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 …

GMO wheat varieties boost crop yields 20-30% in field trial

October 9th, 2019

Studies conducted at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) showed experimental genetically modified (GM) wheat lines [have] the potential to significantly increase yields. These lines ‘overexpress’ three wild-type plant genes, either individually or in combination, and were developed to test whether targeting individual wheat genes could lead to improvements in yield.

In greenhouse studies conducted at …