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Improving cassava production in Nigeria through sustainable seed systems

April 13th, 2017 / BizCommunity.com

According to seed sector specialists, businesses selling improved varieties and high-quality cassava stems for cultivation could help African farmers significantly raise their productivity. Raised productivity will be enjoyed by all stakeholders across the value chain in a sustainable way as this means more Naira from the land, inputs, and effort.
This …

Microbiomes could help plants grow, resist disease and make agriculture more sustainable

April 12th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Feeding a growing world population amidst climate change requires optimizing the reliability, resource use, and environmental impacts of food production.
One way to assist in achieving these goals is to integrate beneficial plant microbiomes—i.e., those enhancing plant growth, nutrient use efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance, and disease resistance—into agricultural production. Read …

Uganda: Armyworm – how prepared are we?

April 12th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Joseph Mayengo a smallholder farmer at Manja Village Kisekka Sub-county in Lwengo District suddenly discovered that his maize crop was under attack by strange looking caterpillars.
They had perforated holes in the leaves and in the stems, and it was clear that there was little chance for …

Tanzania 103 – we welcome this ‘wonder’ cassava seed

April 12th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Once euphemistically called the ‘poor man’s food’ cassava is now billed among top commercial crops, finding industrial use in such sectors as brewery, pharmaceuticals and confectionery.
From its origins in Latin America’s Amazonia, the crop entered Africa through the so-called journeys of discovery in the 15th century, and today the continent …

Blow to Kenya’s food security situation as armyworms invade farms

April 11th, 2017 / News Ghana

Kenya’s food security situation faces a fresh threat as armyworms invade maize farms in different parts of the east African nation.
The country is currently grappling with a serious food crisis mainly caused by poor rains that has seen prices rise considerably, with a 2kg tin of dry maize going …

Seed shortage: a hidden crisis limiting Uganda’s prosperity

April 11th, 2017 / The Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports:
The ongoing rains in most parts of the country will likely go without being optimally used because farmers are unable to access sufficient quantities of quality seeds for the important staple foods like maize, beans, bananas, cassava and sweet potatoes.
The latest blow comes from the government’s …

Genetically engineered microbes make their own fertiliser

April 11th, 2017 / Science, US

Industrial fertilizers help feed billions of people every year, but they remain beyond the reach of many of the world’s poorest farmers. Now, researchers have engineered microbes that, when added to soil, make fertilizer on demand, producing plants that grow 1.5 times larger than crops not exposed to the bugs …

Future of Agriculture in Africa: breeding orange-fleshed sweetpotato

April 11th, 2017 / International Potato Centre

On March 15, Dr. Robert Mwanga, one of the 2016 co-winners of the World Food Prize (WFP) contributed to a discussion on the Future of African Agriculture at the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) in London. Robert, a sweetpotato breeder at the International Potato Center (CIP) gave a presentation on progress …

Drought resistant, higher-yielding GM rice developed by Japanese researchers

April 10th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science have developed strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations. Published in Plant Biotechnology Journal, the study reports that transgenic rice modified with a gene from the Arabidopsis plant yield more rice than unmodified rice when subjected to …

Empowering rural farmers with technologies for improved yields

April 10th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Smallholder farms dominate African agriculture, and most of them continue to employ traditional cultivation techniques but experts from the Sasakawa Global 2000 ask farmers to employ better farm technologies to solve the problem of food security by looking at the full length of the value chain. …