In the news...

How to boost cassava yields

September 11th, 2015 / The Nation, Nigeria

Many farming families depend on cassava, but low yields are becoming increasingly common. Indeed, productivity has been extremely low and achieving less than 10 tonnes per hectare. This worsens the farmers’ situation and keeps them in a cycle of extreme poverty. The situation, however, is going to change. Thanks …

Pest-resistant maize opens technological advancement

September 11th, 2015 / The Nation, Kenya

Professor Calestous Juma writes: Agricultural biotechnology critics are right to question the potential negative impact of the global dominance of the technology. However, they are wrong to assume that all the biotechnology introduced in emerging nations is driven by the interests of foreign firms.Kenya is on the cusp of becoming …

Portable biosensor making food and fodder safe

September 10th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

The presence of aflatoxins in food and feed are a major reason why some of our agricultural produce would be rejected in international markets. In addition, they are harmful to both human and animal health. They can cause diseases like cancer and nervous and reproductive disorders, retard growth in children, …

Nitrogen use efficient rice shows yield increase of 30 %

September 10th, 2015 / Market Watch, US

Major yield increase has the potential to change the economics of rice production and enhance food security. Four years of field trials with a leading line of Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) rice have demonstrated an average 30 percent yield increase over conventional controls. These results were reported jointly today by …

Weeds tell farmers the kind of soils they have and crops to grow

September 10th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Farmers can easily tell the type of soils on their farms by simply observing the type of weeds that grow in it. This is a cost-free and accurate method of soil sampling that can save farmers from hefty laboratory test costs, while still allowing them to determine the kinds of …

Adding value to African indigenous vegetables

September 9th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) are considered a significant contributor to food security and nutrition for smallholder farmers in East Africa. They are also important as a source of income, particularly for women, although the farmers’ capacity to meet a growing demand for vegetables is limited …

Kenya’s public comments on Bt maize environmental release

September 9th, 2015 / ISAAA, Kenya

Kenya National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has formally received comments from the public as it embarks on analyzing feedback for consideration of the application for environmental release (open cultivation), of genetically modified insect protected maize in Kenya. NBA Chief Executive Officer CEO Dr. Willy Tonui during a public hearing forum said …

Small mills flourishing business with rural communities

September 7th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Small grinding mills are very important machines for many communities in Africa because they can be operated anywhere. There are various types of this milling tools ranging from the ancient types to modern used by communities across Africa Ugandan communities inclusive. …

Building better crops from the bottom up

September 7th, 2015 / Global Food Security, UK

Plant breeding using classical, top-down or forward genetic approaches has served us well in the millennia since people settled in agricultural communities and started crossing plants, selecting individuals with traits that made farming easier and the edible parts more nutritious. An alternative to top-down genetic crop improvement is the so …

First ever ‘flower maps’ for beekeeping in Africa

September 4th, 2015 / African Farming

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology has produced the world’s first ever flower maps in Africa. Researchers at the Kenya-based institute have developed a new remote-sensing method, allowing ICIPE to produce a map of flowering plants across Africa which can be used by beekeepers to identify flowers suitable …