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New initiative to accelerate crop improvement for food security in Africa

June 19th, 2017 / Biosciences Africa

A new initiative to speed up crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa – the Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvement in Africa (ACACIA) was launched today. The alliance has been established by founding members, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) through the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-ILRI (BecA-ILRI) Hub in Kenya and …

How do Nigerian farmers understand climate change?

June 19th, 2017 / CGIAR/CCAFS

Scientists have been greatly concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture, and about the impacts, adaptation and mitigation strategies of farmers in Africa. In a recently published article, scientists from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa, and the Department …

Agric experts laud ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy

June 16th, 2017 / Graphic Online, Ghana

Agriculture experts from West Africa attending a conference on the West Africa Seed Programme (WASP) have lauded the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs agriculture policy, describing it as revolutionary enough to boost productivity in the sector.
They have, however, observed that quality seeds would be crucial to the success of …

How to practice climate smart farming with ease

June 16th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farming and environment The continued unpredictable weather pattern is largely due to environmental degradation that impacts negatively on farming. But whereas farmers are directly affected by the effects they have not been mindful of conserving the environment.
“You cry of drought, lack of water but what efforts are you putting up …

Africa soil health

June 16th, 2017 / CABI

Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now widely recognized that increased fertilizer use, integrated with other soil fertility management practises is the way forward. The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) brings together experts in soil health, and we …

Why farmers should be interested in beans

June 15th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Traditionally, beans were grown for home consumption but after realising the benefits, bean growing transcended to being commercial. Reasons why you should be grow beans include a ready market, they grow fast, they’re not susceptible to diseases, and they have nutritional value. And we give some quick tips on growing …

Can CRISPR gene editing provide hardier, more nutritious, better tasting crops?

June 15th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Using CRISPR to add—or remove—a plant trait is faster, more precise, easier, and in most cases cheaper than either traditional breeding techniques or older genetic engineering methods.
Although scientists can use CRISPR to add genes from other species to a plant, many labs are working to exploit the vast diversity of …

Using genetics to reduce greenhouse gases from cows

June 15th, 2017 / Wired, US

Bovine livestock are responsible for about 9.5 percent of global greenhouse gas output, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Farmers are trying to reduce those emissions with lots of different strategies, starting with their diets. Researchers have tried adding flaxseed oil, garlic, juniper berries, and …

Rising opportunities for youth in African agrifood systems

June 14th, 2017 / World Bank, US

Africa’s share of the global population is projected to rise dramatically from 12% in 2015 to 23% by 2050. This huge demographic trend will certainly amplify Africa’s political and economic impact on the rest of the world, and this impact will largely be determined by young Africans between 15-35 years …

Researchers Identify gene against wheat streak mosaic virus

June 14th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from Kansas State University have identified a gene that can resist wheat streak mosaic virus. The team identified Wsm3 gene, the third gene known to resist the virus, and the first that can do so at outdoor temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. Read …