In the news...

Will Ethiopia’s teff be the next super grain?

May 1st, 2015 / BBC, UK

Ethiopians have been growing and obsessing about teff for millennia, and it may become the new “super grain” of choice in Europe and North America, overtaking the likes of quinoa and spelt. High in protein and calcium, and gluten-free, teff is already growing in popularity on the international stage. Read …

Heat tolerant beans fight climate change

April 29th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Bean breeders have discovered 30 types of ‘heat beater beans’ that could keep production from crashing in large swaths of bean-dependent Latin America and Africa, in the wake of fears that global warming could zap a vital source of protein that has sustained humans for centuries. Read …

The GM crops debate: Campaigners for and against go head-to-head

March 28th, 2015 / The Independent, UK

One pro and one anti GM campaigner to go head to head on the issues to help readers make up their own minds. Claire Robinson of GMWatch (anti) and Mark Lynas, an author and pro GM technology, took up the challenge. Read …

The role of research in global food and nutrition security

March 28th, 2015 / European Union

A “think piece” suggesting a strategy to address the challenges spanning the production of, access to, and consumption of food. The paper does not make recommendations for policy, rather it aims to prompt discussion of where research and innovation can contribute most to solving the issues, including providing underpinning …

Why are more African countries accepting genetically modified food?

March 28th, 2015 / AFK Insider

According to the UN conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2010 report, Africa’s capacity to provide food has declined by one-fifth over the past 40 years. This has been proposed as a reason why the continent should adopt genetically engineered crops. Read …

Scientists have engineered the food that will help save a starving, warming planet

March 27th, 2015 / Quartz

Since the foundation of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture’s (CIAT) in 1967 it has had extraordinary success: bean varieties developed at the centre now feed up to 30 million people in Africa. But as the planet warms, time is running out to develop new cultivars that can cope …

ActionAid: The charity spreading groundless fears over GM

March 24th, 2015 / The Independent, UK

Donors to one of Britain’s largest humanitarian aid charities have been unwittingly funding an aggressive anti-GM food campaign in Africa that misleadingly warns farmers that eating the crops could give them cancer. A senior official working for ActionAid in Uganda reports that the charity shows farmers pictures of rats with …

Increase water harvesting in Africa

March 20th, 2015 / Nature

Ensuring that the world’s food needs are met by 2050 will take a doubling of global food production1. To improve agricultural yields on that scale will require a radical rethink of global water-management strategies and policies. Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicentre of this challenge with half of its current …

How air pollution affects agriculture

March 18th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports on how crops can be injured when exposed to high concentrations of various air pollutants. Injury ranges from visible markings on crop leaves, to reduced growth and yield, to premature death. In case of animals, it may lead to infection as a result of …

With iCow and M-Farm, smartphones reboot African agriculture

March 17th, 2015 / Business Daily Live

Wider smartphone and internet access has allowed technology firms to reach remote African farmers with apps providing veterinary diagnoses, crop planting guidance and virtual marketplaces. “People who don’t have access to running water or electricity have access to a phone that is more powerful than computers we had a …