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Geneticists engineer a virus to fight citrus disease

May 19th, 2017 / The Scientist

Since 2005, Candidatus Liberibacter, a genus of bacteria that is spread by Asian citrus psyllids (Diaphorina citri) and turns fruit green and bitter, has been devastating orange crops in the United States. “There’s a real race on right now to try to save the citrus,” Carolyn Slupsky, a food scientist …

He does his farming the smart way

August 25th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Michael Ssali reports: Luka Kwesigabo from Ruhimbo in Kabingo Town Council practises mixed agriculture. He has his hands on various enterprises, which both mitigate the effects of climate change and earn him a decent living.
Armed with technical information from resource persons such as Sedrach Muhangi, a climatic …

Orange farmers get tips on disease management

August 11th, 2016 / Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports: “The potential of orange farming in Uganda is huge, but the benefits are increasingly becoming elusive because of the rise in pests and diseases that attack the crop, costing farmers huge sums of money in pesticides and lost incomes.
“Thanks however to support from Korea Programme …

He grows fruit trees for food security and to conserve the environment

August 11th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: ‘John Ssentongo of Lukindu Village in Kisekka Sub-county, Lwengo District, loves fruits and believes they are the solution to his community’s food shortage problem.
“When I set out to become a farmer I chose to grow mangoes, jackfruit, avocados, pawpaw and other fruit trees besides bananas, …

New programme to improve Ghana’s food safety and grow agricultural exports

June 3rd, 2016 / Modern Ghana

The International Executive Service Corps (IESC), a non-profit organisation, has been awarded a two-year program that will improve the quality of Ghanaian fruit and vegetables for export. The Improving Food Safety Systems Program, valued at US$2.8 million, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will draw on …

Genes used to extend banana lifespan

April 18th, 2016 / Reuters.com

Dr. Haya Friedman, a researcher at Israel’s Volcani Institute, also known as the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), told Reuters that the genetically-altered bananas can stay fresh for at least double the time of normal bananas. “You can see here that these are bananas that we changed the expression of the …

Kenya: New hope for mango farmers as destructive bug meets its foe

August 11th, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

The fruit fly, a pest that has plagued mango farmers for years, has an unlikely foe – its own species. A new technology uses the pest as a host to a fungus that ensures the fruit fly’s own destruction. See …

Reap big on a small piece of land

July 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: Certain agricultural activities, which may be lucrative, do not necessarily need large pieces of land. One such activity is the preparation of seedlings for sale to farmers. For some years now, John Mugera of Nabulago village in Kabonera Sub-county, Masaka District, has been selling grafted …

GM may be needed to save the popular and nutritionally important Cavendish banana

July 17th, 2015 / Good Magazine, US

It may be a bitter pill to swallow for some, given society’s disdain for GMOs. But to preserve the Cavendish, the banana at large, and the millions of lives and livelihoods they are tied to it, as a society we might just have to learn to accept a genetically modified …

Tanzania: fruit & veg industry to curb unemployment

July 16th, 2015 / Tanzania Daily News

As a solution to unemployment, alongside proper processing and storage of fishing and farm products, the government last year decided to establish the ‘Zanzibar Technology and Business Incubator (ZTBI)’ centre. The mission of ZTBI is to stimulate new business development and growth of enterprises into successful well structures and full …