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Uganda: Shortage of drought-resistant maize seed as farmers despair

September 15th, 2016 /

Newly-released drought-tolerant hybrid maize seed has reportedly run out of stock from the eight supplier-companies–except one–contracted to multiply and market it, Seeds of Gold has exclusively learnt.
The stock-out, which comes ahead of the second planting season, has raised concern across the farming community.
Farmers are also bracing themselves against any dry …

Why boosting legume production will lift the gloom for African farmers

September 14th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Africa has the lowest use of nitrogen on its farmland compared to other regions of the world. This is because smallholder farmers have limited financial resources to buy fertilisers. Nitrogen is one of the most essential nutrients needed by plants for their growth, development and reproduction. Yet it is depleted …

African smallholders are adopting conservation agriculture techniques

September 14th, 2016 / Manitoba Co-operator, Canada

I saw maize that was green, tall, and thick, nothing like what we had seen along our drive through central Kenya.
This particular farm belongs to Jane Wanjiko, who has wholeheartedly adopted the principles of conservation agriculture on her three-quarters of an acre farm. She is using grass and cornstalks to …

Great Green Wall: ambitious plan to beat back the Sahara

September 14th, 2016 /

Eleven African countries are making headway in their ambitious pan-African effort to plant trees along the edge of the Sahara desert, the world largest, and beat back its spread into more arable land southwards.
The plan dubbed the ‘Great Green Wall’ seeks to counter the spread of Sahara Desert in Africa …

Weather updates help farmers plan

September 14th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Weather affects many activities in agriculture, which means timely and accurate information is important for farmers. As such Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) issues seasonal forecasts and reports to enable planning and response. See …

Top scientists debate biotechnology

September 14th, 2016 / New Vision, Uganda

Scientists from different fields discussed the application of biotechnology in Uganda. Dr. Arthur Tuguma, a lecturer of genetics and plant pathology in the department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology at Makerere University, said there is need to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the technology.
On his part, Dr Elioda …

Organic farming will not feed growing African population

September 14th, 2016 / ENCA, South Africa

Soil experts gathered in Nairobi for the ongoing African Green Revolution Forum have on Thursday, said that Africa has no choice but to use quality fertilisers to improve the soil quality to produce enough food.
The experts said that Africa cannot rely on organic farming to feed the rapidly growing population …

First drought-resilient, high iron beans for Uganda released

September 5th, 2016 / CIAT, Colombia

Five new bean varieties bred with high iron and resilience to the impacts of drought have been released in Uganda for the first time. The varieties – co-developed by the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), the Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB) and CIAT through HarvestPlus – were released as part …

How agriculture can be intensified in Africa without causing harm

September 3rd, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Conventional agriculture differs. It aims to maximise yields and economic returns. This is often done with little regard for the environment and the impact on society. Sustainable agriculture, on the other hand, is designed to address problems like environmental pollution from excessive use of fertilisers. It also tries to arrest …

Turning value addition into family business

September 3rd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michail Ssali reports: Farmers need some basic skills of food processing and preservation. In most cases, the farmers that try to process their food items end up selling them at better prices and earning higher profits. Food processing is basically about improving the storage life, quality and safety. …