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Uganda: farmers advised on seeds

August 24th, 2015 / East African Business Week, Uganda

“When small holder farmers form cooperatives, NARO can support them with technical skills to enable them establish community seed banks. When this is done we shall solve the problem of counterfeit seeds on the market and poor market distribution. Farmers have been alleging that they are being supplied with fake …

Rice production could increase 33%

August 22nd, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A newly discovered gene could increase rice production by up to a third, according to a study by Chinese scientists, potentially offering a new weapon in the fight against global hunger. By modifying the plant’s BG1 gene, the researchers said they were able to create one of the largest rice …

Peace is good for food security

August 22nd, 2015 / GhanaWeb.com

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: “I’ve seen amazing progress with my own eyes: Back in 1990, many people in Ghana went hungry. There are still pockets of hunger in some parts of the regions in Ghana, but today, hunger is almost non-existent. We make food and share food,” says Lydia …

GM – ‘the most critical technology’ for feeding the world

August 22nd, 2015 / EurikaAlert!, US

Nina Fedoroff, molecular biologist and former Science and Technology Adviser to Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, warns of the detrimental influence of politics and misinformation on the safety of GM crops. Instead, Fedoroff says that: “GM crops are arguably the safest new crops ever introduced into the human and animal …

Salt-tolerant plants eyed as crops of the future

August 20th, 2015 / CBC News, Canada

A team of scientists is searching for solutions to what they describe as a fast-approaching agricultural crisis. Their neatly plotted rows of naturally salt-tolerant plants, known as halophytes, could be a part of the answer. The scientists from the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation are also trying other approaches: tweaking genes …

Kenya: GM maize will double yields

August 20th, 2015 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Genetically modified maize will double productivity while reducing costs of fertiliser by eliminating the infestation of the stem borer. Scientists from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation say the water efficient BT maize has the potential to yield 3.7 tonnes of per hectare. See …

Can organic farming sustainably feed the developing world?

August 19th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A recent new paper published in the journal Sustainable Agriculture Research examines results from six experiments comparing organic and conventional farming methods. The long-term experiments showed an increase in soil health, productivity, water quality and economic benefits for farmers when they employed organic systems. “These results suggest that organic …

Gene therapy for a changing climate

August 19th, 2015 / Can we feed the world?

Supporting smallholder farmers to better adapt to climate change and build their resilience to a variety of risks – weather-related or not – can be done in a variety of ways. For example, better access to finance can enable farmers to invest more in their farms; better training can …

Kofi Annan promotes health-giving orange flesh sweet potato

August 18th, 2015 / YouTube.com

Noah Nash, B4FA Fellow from Ghana, reports: Former UN Secretary General, Dr. Kofi Annan has advised children and pregnant women to consume more sweet potatoes to get the nutrients they need – especially from the orange ones. See …

Spectroscopy analysis of soil to help farmers

August 17th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

Soil testing before planting helps farmers to decide the quantity and quality of fertilisers they should apply, thus reducing the risks of crop failure and financial loss. The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has developed a new, faster, low-cost laboratory-based soil analysis technique. Developed by the African Soil Information Service …