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Food security feared as Kenya readies to start growing GMO cotton

January 31st, 2019 / Xinhua, China

At fresh produce markets across Kenya, citizens are shunning buying bigger tomatoes, mangoes, pawpaws or oranges for fear that they may be genetically modified.

The fear is extended to even poultry products where chickens that are too big are classified as genetically modified organisms by consumers and shunned therefore.

The misconception is …

Seeds go digital

January 28th, 2019 / CIMMYT

Many Kenyan maize farmers are busy preparing their seed stock for the next planting season. Sowing high quality seeds of stress-tolerant varieties is a cost-effective way for African smallholder farmers to boost their harvests while being resilient to evolving crop pests and diseases as well as an erratic climate. However, even if a …

Food security project supports model farmers in Ethiopia

January 23rd, 2019 / Addis Standard, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s agriculture is complex, involving substantial variation in crops grown across the country’s regions and ecologies. And although there has been significant growth in the cultivation of cereal crops over the last decade, by international standards, yields are low, and overall production is highly susceptible to weather shocks, such as …

Kalro releases disease resistant seed varieties

January 7th, 2019 / Business Daily Africa

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) has released eight maize varieties resistant to maize lethal necrosis disease.

Regional research officer John Karanja said the eight varieties have been developed for different climatic conditions.

“Besides their resistance to this disease, they are also hardy and can withstand inadequate rainfall regimes as well …

Apprenticeship will attract young people to agriculture

December 5th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Agriculture directly contributes 24 per cent of the annual Kenyan GDP and 27 per cent indirectly.
Apprenticeship would give young people a unique opportunity to earn while as they learn.
Lack of an apprenticeship policy has had adverse impacts on young people interested in agriculture.
The Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship has proposed an …

President Kenyatta ties revival of textile sector to GM cotton

November 30th, 2018 / Sunrise, Uganda

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has instructed key government ministries to identify mechanisms for reviving the nation’s cotton production, which could include growing the genetically modified Bt cotton.
The announcement follows the government’s approval last summer of an environmental assessment that authorized the national performance trials that are required prior to commercial …

How mobile phones are helping farmers grow bigger harvests

November 28th, 2018 / Gates Notes

Philanthropist Bill Gates writes:
Whenever I travel to rural parts of the world, the farmers I meet talk about one thing that holds them back: they can’t save their money.
They don’t mean they spend more than they earn. They mean that, literally, they don’t have a safe place to put their …

Scientists use potato wild relatives to produce climate-resilient varieties

November 12th, 2018 / International Potato Center

As millions of small-scale farmers struggle with the effects of climate change, scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) are using wild potatoes to develop climate-resilient varieties. The resulting potatoes combine heat and drought tolerance with resistance to the most important diseases affecting potato crops, late blight and bacterial wilt, …

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 …

Biotech crops could make Kenya major cotton producer again

October 30th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Kenya has been losing at least 4,210 cotton farmers every year for the last 38 years due to low returns and importation of cheaper ready fabric from China and India. This translates to 160,000 farmers or 80 per cent of the estimated 200,000 farmers who practiced cotton farming in the …