In the news...

Gene helps plants use hardly digestible organic phosphorous

October 21st, 2015 / ISAAA, US

Natural stocks of phosphorous are expected to last for the next 60 years, but researchers from Kazan University in Russia are looking for ways to prevent a catastrophe as excess phytate levels in the soil pose a long-term risk for sustainable agriculture.
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Uganda: Scientists roll out better, nutrient-rich animal forage

October 21st, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Small scale livestock farming in Africa can become more intensive yet sustainable if better and more nutritious forage is used to feed the animals. This could benefit farming activities especially in rural Sub-Saharan Africa and see a shift from the increased reliance on ordinary pasture grazing.
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Nigerian tech whiz Nasir Yammama on farming app Verdant and being an active farmer

October 13th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Nigerian tech wiz Nasir Yammama’s agronomy mobile phone service Verdant is helping 500,000 farmers from pre-planting period – with information about weather conditions, improved seedlings, inputs and best practices – all the way to selling farm produce. The Daily Trust interviews him about Verdant, his foray into active farming, and …

Reliable data is the answer to Africa’s $1 trillion agriculture opportunity

October 6th, 2015 / Quartz Africa

Africa has more than half of the world’s unused arable land, yet Brazil, Indonesia, and Thailand currently export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined. But the potential for growth is there. What’s needed is for investors and farmers to be better educated about markets, which requires high-quality …

Biotech strategies to enhance plants’ natural response to drought

October 2nd, 2015 / ISB News Report, US

How do plants deal with flood and drought? They cope by triggering different strategies. Water deficit and water excess are major factors affecting plants yield worldwide. To cope with such factors, plants trigger physiological and biochemical changes allowing them to survive for a limited period of time. See …

Scientists advocate agricultural biotechnology for sustainable growth

September 30th, 2015 / Voice of Nigeria

Agricultural experts in Nigeria have identified farming as a major source of boosting the country’s economy and saving it from the overdependence on petroleum and petroleum products. Scientists have pointed out that the application of Agricultural biotechnology or Genetical Modification (GM) into Nigeria’s farming system will not only boost …

Working to allay farmers’ fears of improved seeds

September 30th, 2015 / Daily News, Tanzania

The agriculture sector, while being crippled by poor output brought about by the use of low quality inputs, farmers would rather still stick to traditional seeds than attempt laboratory improved varieties. See …

Talking Biotech: Current pest control strategies increasingly focused, less toxic, and work

September 28th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The topic of “pesticides” is the new frontier in the opposition to agricultural biotechnology. Opponents of the technology blame new genetic improvement methods for perceived increases in chemical controls for plant, animal and fungal pests. However, scientists argue that our pest control strategies are increasingly focused, less toxic, and …

Ghana: Rice farmers urged to adopt nursing and transplanting methods for rice cultivation

September 28th, 2015 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: small holder farmers in rice production in the northern region have been advised to adopt nursing and transplanting of rice cultivation to avoid over crowding and also increase crop yield on their farms. The Project Manager under Integrated Agricultural Productivity Improvement and Marketing Project, …

Driving R&D in Africa

September 25th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

A new scientific alliance and two other initiatives to provide long-term opportunities for developing research leadership and innovation to help tackle Africa’s development challenges have been launched. The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), unveiled in Kenya last week (10 September), will enable researchers and technology …