In the news...

This treadle pump is big deal

April 20th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Samuel Ojok is a vegetable farmer in Otuke District in northern Uganda. Every tomato season, he grows two or more acres of tomatoes and other vegetables such as cabbage, green pepper, onions and watermelons.
He is never worried about his garden running short of water or getting affected by a change …

Researchers develop first gene drive targeting worldwide crop pest

April 20th, 2018 / Phys.org

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have developed a method of manipulating the genes of an agricultural pest that has invaded much of the United States and caused millions of dollars in damage to high-value berry and other fruit crops.
Research led by Anna Buchman in the lab of …

FAO – Lack of modern farming techniques threaten food security in Africa

April 19th, 2018 / PM News, Nigeria

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that lack of modern farming techniques threatens Africa’s food security.
Josef Kienzle, FAO’s Leader of the Mechanisation task team, said that unless the governments adopt new technologies of farming, the continent will continue relying on food aid.
“There is need for a paradigm …

Scientists want to replace pesticides with bacteria

April 19th, 2018 / Bloomberg, US

Fresh snow coats the sidewalks outside Indigo Ag Inc.’s Boston offices, but inside the temperature is calibrated to mimic spring in the Midwest. Hundreds of almost identical soy seedlings sit beneath high-intensity arc lamps, basking in the artificially sunny 60F weather.
The plants aren’t destined to stay identical for long. “We …

The biotech innovator behind tissue culture in banana farming – Erostus Nsubug

April 18th, 2018 / The Observer, Uganda

EROSTUS NJUKI NSUBUGA is the chairman of the Uganda biotechnology consortium but is best known as the brains behind the groundbreaking of tissue culture of breeding bananas.
Nsubuga holds a master’s degree in agriculture but it means little other than being just part of his long curriculum vitae detailing. He always …

Crop protection companies making strides in Africa

April 18th, 2018 / IEG Policy

Africa is making steady progress towards agricultural transformation. Over the past decade there has been a dramatic change in different countries and various localities. There is a noticeable upward shift in expenditure on agriculture by national governments in African countries.
Many countries have reaffirmed their commitment to prioritizing agriculture in their …

CTA launches ‘Pitch AgriHack 2018’ to support young agricultural entrepreneurs

April 16th, 2018 / CTA, Netherlands

CTA has launched ‘Pitch AgriHack 2018’ a competition to support young agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) build viable businesses and boost innovation for a more sustainable agricultural sector. Winning innovations will be awarded up to €15,000, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.
The theme for this year’s competition is “Women entrepreneurs innovate …

Scaling up game-changing agricultural innovations and technologies in Africa

April 16th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), with the support of the World Bank, recently rolled out an initiative aimed at placing innovative climate-smart technologies in the hands of farmers so that they are better protected from the impacts of climate change. This is sorely …

Agripreneurship deserves as much buzz as supposedly sexier, urban-based sectors

April 12th, 2018 / Huffpost, South Africa

South Africa or Africa at large should seek to be the place that gives us the Steve Jobs of agriculture, to tackle major challenges the continent faces in terms of economic growth, food security and the present threat of climate change. This is particularly important in the sensitive debate over …

Hybridisation and the new frontier against spread of global pests

April 11th, 2018

IT’S the stuff of science fiction. Hybridisation of two caterpillars in Brazil confirmed through extensive genomic testing by CSIRO researchers.
But it’s real and will enable the international agricultural community to stay ahead in the race to combat the megapest.
Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the cotton bollworm and …