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HarvestPlus supports sweet potato mobile app project

October 31st, 2019

HarvestPlus Uganda has been collaborating with the BioInnovate Africa project and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF) to develop an information and communication technology (ICT) platform for certifying vitamin A orange sweet potato vines.

The ICT platform, which is accessible via a mobile application and a website, allows farmers to …

Biotech soybeans now cover 50% of the world’s biotech crop area

October 31st, 2019

The four major biotech crops — soybeans, maize, cotton, and canola — were the most adopted biotech crops by 26 countries in 2018, according to the ISAAA report, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018. Soybeans lead at 95.9 million hectares, followed by maize (58.9 million hectares), cotton (24.9 million), and canola (10.1 million hectares). Based on …

Can TELA maize solve the acute food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa?

October 30th, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most food-insecure region in the world, with an estimated 237 million throughout the region suffering from chronic undernutrition.

Frequent droughts are partially to blame for the persistent food shortages and the dry conditions make farming particularly challenging for the region’s smallholders. The TELA Maize Project has been working …

Soil fungi turn struggling wheat into ‘climate-smart’ crop with boosted nutrient uptake

October 30th, 2019

Introducing fungi to wheat boosted their uptake of key nutrients and could lead to new, ‘climate smart’ varieties of crops, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have demonstrated a partnership between wheat and soil fungi that could be utilized to develop new food crops and farming …

Engineered molecule could protect key food crops from intensifying droughts as climate changes

October 29th, 2019

An engineered small molecule called opabactin that targets the receptor for the hormone abscisic acid (ABA), which plants release in stressful conditions, limited water loss in Arabidopsis, tomato, and wheat, and improved wheat’s tolerance of drought-like conditions in the lab, according to a study published today (October 24) in Science. It …

Fighting Africa’s fall armyworm invasion with radio shows and phone apps

October 29th, 2019

The invasive fall armyworm is native to the Americas and was first found in Africa in early 2016. It has since spread to nearly all of sub-Saharan Africa.Fall armyworm is a voracious pest of over 80 plant species including maize, millet, rice, and sorghum and has been causing food insecurity …

How to start fish farming on a small-scale

October 29th, 2019

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:

The atmosphere at the 16th edition of Seeds of Gold Farm Clinic at the National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI) in Kituuza, Mukono District was expressed by farmers being attentive to learn best methods applicable in the farm enterprises exhibited.

One such an enterprise was where scientists took …

Technology necessary to curb food crisis in Africa

October 28th, 2019

THE Regional Director, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Dr Issoufou Abdourhamane, on Saturday said that the numerous challenges facing Africa’s agriculture could be effectively tackled with the deployment of appropriate technologies.

He said with the deployment of appropriate technologies, the creation of conducive environments and translation of political will into action, …

How agroecology can improve life for Africa’s smallholder farmers

October 28th, 2019

Nassib Mugwanya’s call for attention to the difficult reality of smallholder farmers across Uganda and Africa is welcome. Life as a smallholder farmer is arduous and full of uncertainties, and many challenges will be (or already are) exacerbated by climate change. Efforts to improve living conditions for this large group ought …

Technology hope for African farmers

October 16th, 2019

Precision farming techniques are being scaled down to be usable and affordable.

In Africa, a start-up scene is taking shape, capable of lifting millions out of poverty by transforming the continent’s largest industry: agriculture. The African continent contains more than a quarter of the world’s arable land, and farming contributes 15 …