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“Farming is business” – Migration to the city and the future of farming in Kenya

December 11th, 2017 / Sustainable Food Trust

In the Kenyan reality TV show Don’t Lose the Plot (DLTP), four young farmers budget, plant and grow their farms in a competition that rewards the most profitable and sustainable contestant with an agricultural investment worth $10,000. Set up on one acre of land each, the contenders have nine months …

140 new drought-resistant seeds unveiled to address food insecurity

November 27th, 2017 / The Standard, Kenya

The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate (Kephis) has released 140 new drought-resistant and fast-maturing seed varieties into the market. Kephis Managing Director Esther Kimani said the new variety of seeds would help to address food insecurity, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. “These varieties are drought-tolerant and early-maturing, and superior to …

App ‘trained’ to spot crop disease, alert farmers

November 14th, 2017 / SciDev.net

A team of scientists has received US$100,000 grant to refine a mobile application (app) that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose crop diseases, and aims to help millions of African smallholders.
The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas team won the grant during big data conference in Colombia on 21 …

Can Kenyan farmers combat food insecurity with climate-smart agriculture?

November 8th, 2017 / Equal Times

Farmers in Kenya are being taught about climate-smart agriculture (CSA), farming methods that will enable them to make the most of their own land by helping to ensure food security and economic empowerment from the sale of surplus crops such as sorghum, millet, green grams (mung beans), cassava and cow …

Danforth researchers use CRISPR to gene-edit cassava

October 26th, 2017 / St Louis Public Radio, US

To prove that a new-gene editing technology could be used to alter the cassava plant, scientists in the St. Louis suburbs zeroed in on a gene used to process chlorophyll. Before long, they had petri dishes full of seedlings that were white as chalk.
The plan is to use CRISPR — …

Kenya launches task force to facilitate commercialization of GM cotton

October 13th, 2017 / Xinhua, China

Kenya on Wednesday unveiled a national task force to oversee the commercialization of genetically modified cotton in the next five years.
Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett said the team will build the capacity of key stakeholders involved in the rollout of genetically engineered cotton.
“The government is committed …

Fall armyworm arrives in Africa on the heels of climate change

October 13th, 2017 / Sierra Magazine

Tobias Okwara is a farmer in Kayoro Parish in southeastern Uganda. In the midst of a long drought that began in May 2016, he and his neighbors got together to discuss what to do. Food was becoming scarce, and they hoped to recover quickly once the rains started again. They …

Kenya to start national performance trials for Bt cotton

September 27th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

The National Biosafety Authority of Kenya has approved the field trial of Bt cotton (MON 15985 event). In The Kenya Gazette issued on September 8, 2017, published by the Authority of the Republic of Kenya, the Gazette Notice No. 8846 lists the approved GM applications in 2016-2017, including transgenic bananas …

Initiative to build African science journalism capacity

September 27th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A two-year programme has been launched to build capacity of science journalists and improve science coverage in Africa.
It was launched this month (1 September) with the aim of recognising the important role of science journalism in promoting Africa’s socioeconomic development.
The project is being funded by the African Academy of Sciences …

Kenya approves field trials for disease-resistant GMO bananas

September 26th, 2017 / Genetic literacy Project, US

The National Biosafety Authority has approved field tests for genetically modified bananas, moving the country closer to accepting growing and consumption of GMO foods.
The authority…says the approval for controlled field tests was granted on November 7 last year, paving the way for the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation to …