In the news...

Gene silencing could ‘fool’ plants into surviving harsh environments

November 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

By temporarily silencing the expression of a critical gene, researchers fooled soybean plants into sensing they were under siege, encountering a wide range of stresses. Then, after selectively cross breeding those plants with the original stock, the progeny “remember” the stress-induced responses to become more vigorous, resilient and productive plants, …

Tech fall armyworm solutions winners recognised

November 21st, 2018 / The East African, Kenya

Two companies from the region have been rewarded for formulating digital solutions to the invasive fall armyworm.
Farm.ink, a Nairobi-based start-up, took the top prize of $150,000 for the most viable way to combat the pest, which has had devastating effects on maize farms in Africa. Farm.ink integrated a Fall Armyworm …

Africa: making agriculture ‘cool’ … for youth

November 14th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

At every conference she has attended on the youth, Nawsheen Hosenally has been frustrated to hear that agriculture is not ‘cool’. The 29-year-old graduate in agricultural extension and information systems knew she wanted to do something to redeem the image of agriculture among young people.
So the Mauritian and her Burkanibe, …

DNA project to decode ‘all complex life’ on Earth

November 14th, 2018 / BBC, UK

A mission to sequence the genome of every known animal, plant, fungus and protozoan – a group of single-celled organisms – is underway.
The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) has been described as a “moonshot for biology”. A key aim is to use the information in efforts to conserve threatened species. Scientists …

Doubling farmers’ income: It’s possible – in 5 steps

November 8th, 2018 / Financial Express, India

In an article in The Indian Express, agriculture expert Samarendu Mohanty and Sampriti Baruah have said that using the “Farmer Producer Organisation/ Company approach is one way to enable small and marginal farmers to improve their bargaining power, by pooling resources and linking them to the market.”
Giving an example of …

Budding farmer, big dreams

November 8th, 2018 / FAO, Italy

Dimiana Nange Clement is a young refugee and a budding farmer. The 11-year-old lives with her family in the Kalobeyei integrated settlement in northern Kenya. The settlement is adjacent to the Kakuma refugee camp, one of the largest such facilities in the world.
Families and schools here are increasingly turning to …

Insect farming can reduce hunger and generate money

November 5th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Of the hundreds of articles that I have written in the Daily Monitor since 1992, there is hardly any that has attracted as much public reaction as the one I wrote about Mr Deo Kiwanuka of Gulama Village, Buwunga Sub-county, in Masaka District.
He is a beekeeper …

We need your help

November 1st, 2018 / B4FA.org

Eight years ago, Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) was set up to help African farmers unlock the continent’s huge agricultural potential.
Initially, we ran courses in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, in collaboration with local scientists from universities and research institutes, providing training for more than 160 TV, radio and …

Why is African agribusiness luring GCC investors?

November 1st, 2018 / The National, UAE

The UAE – like other countries in the Arabian Gulf – wants to ramp up overseas food production to tackle resource scarcity at home.
Africa, with 60 per cent of the world’s arable land, represents a huge opportunity.
What is agribusiness?
Agribusiness means farming for commercial purposes, or, the business of agricultural production. …

Agriculture should now be great career choice for youths

October 31st, 2018 / AllAfrica

WITH 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 (the youth bracket), Africa has the youngest population in the world.
The current trend indicates that this figure will double by 2045, according to the 2012 African Economic Outlook report prepared by experts from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Development …