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Technology will drive scientific progress in Africa not the other way round

August 22nd, 2016 / Quartz Africa

Calestous Juma writes: “The future of the African youth in the world of science and technology is increasingly being recognized. In his optimistic prognosis, the president of the University of Cambridge, Leszek Borysiewicz says Africa’s talented youth “will drive the science and technology agenda of the future.”
Realizing this vision, however, …

A biofortified rice high in iron and zinc is set to combat hidden hunger in developing countries

August 22nd, 2016 / Phys.org

Rice is the staple food for billions of people throughout the developing world. But beyond easing hunger pains and providing carbohydrates for energy, it has little nutritional value. It means many people who depend on rice as a staple food are effectively being starved of essential micronutrients such as iron, …

Scientists gear up to battle invasive species

August 19th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

A research programme to tackle invasive species that kill plants and sicken animals is getting under way at the United Kingdom’s Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI).
The programme, worth US$50 million, aims to find scientific solution that help farmers to either defeat or adapt to the presence of invasive …

Biotechnology and food security in Nigeria

August 19th, 2016 / Punch, Nigeria

Over 70 per cent of the poor in developing countries, including Nigeria, depend on agriculture – farming small plots of land about the size of a football field for income and livelihoods. As a result, food and nutrition security is unlikely to be achieved with subsistence farming and without considerable …

Why farmers need traning in value addition

August 18th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Post-harvest food losses in Uganda are mainly experienced by two categories of farmers—the producers of rapidly perishable foodstuffs such as bananas, vegetables, fruits, milk, and vegetables—and the producers of semi-perishable items such as onions, ginger, yams, cassava and potatoes. Yet if such farmers are introduced …

Banana fungus DNA unravelled

August 18th, 2016 / ISAAA, US

Researchers at the University of California Davis and Wageningen UR have unravelled the DNA of Pseudocercospora fijiensis, the fungus that causes black Sigatoka disease in bananas globally.
The Sigatoka complex’s three fungal diseases — yellow Sigatoka (P. musae), eumusae leaf spot (P. eumusae) and black Sigatoka (P. figiensis) — emerged as …

Tech access could save women farmers’ time in farms

August 16th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

According to researchers, women shoulder the bulk of household responsibilities and are food producers in Africa, thus making them spend more time working on the farm. The researchers highlighted the need to address women farmers’ challenges during the launch of the scaling up of post-harvest management innovations for grain legumes …

Cowpea as soy substitute

August 16th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Cowpeas can make a suitable substitute for soy in processed meat to address consumer fears around soybean products, an Egyptian research centre has found. The Egyptian Agricultural Research Centre has produced a burger made with cooked cowpea, which will be offered at food outlets managed by the country’s agriculture ministry …

East Africa: EAC to mitigate aflatoxins

August 16th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

African Union (AU) has asked the East African Community member states to come up with agent interventions to mitigate challenges brought by Aflatoxins contamination on agro-products which has posed a bottleneck in marketing agricultural produce from members states both on the local and International market. Agricultural experts say Aflatoxins have …

SA’s women are ensuring food security in the country

August 15th, 2016 / Business Day Live, South Africa

Women have become visible participants in all four pillars of food security. They have became producers of food; ensuring that their households have enough resources to obtain food in sufficient quantity, quality and diversity for a nutritious diet; they decide what food to purchase and how to prepare it as …