In the news...

The homecoming of African pasture grasses

October 10th, 2017 / Claudia Canales – B4FA

Brachiaria grasses, which originated primarily from natural grasslands in Africa, do not look particularly remarkable. Yet these forage species for feeding farm animals are the most widely used in the tropics, especially in Central and South America, where they were introduced in the middle of last century in an effort …

How some African farmers are responding to climate change — and what we can learn from them

July 14th, 2017 / ensia.com

As sub-Saharan Africa’s climate changes, small-scale farmers are increasingly looking to innovative ways of dealing with agricultural challenges. And in some instances, the techniques they adopt are helping to combat climate change, too.
Alternative animal feed, climate-friendly grasses and the use of fodder trees are among the examples providing farmers resilience …

‘Cow of the future’: Genetically engineered ‘heat resistant’ cattle could adapt to climate change

July 7th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project

Scientists are developing a breed of genetically-modified ‘cows of the future’ that will be more heat resistant and have superior ability to adapt to hot living conditions. By using genomic tools, researchers aim to produce an animal that can adapt to hot living conditions and produce top-quality beef. Read …

Mixed farming systems and global food security

May 25th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

Mixed farming, the combined production of crops and livestock, is central to current and future global food supplies. Two thirds of all people, and most of the world’s poor, work in such systems to produce a significant proportion of key staple crops: 86 per cent of rice, 74 per cent …

Livestock for food security and nutrition—Committee on World Food Security policy recommendations

May 11th, 2017 / ILRI

The Committee on World Food Security has made policy recommendations on the role of livestock in the sustainable development of agriculture – essential for poverty reduction and the achievement of food security and nutrition. The recommendations are based on the principles of improving resource efficiency, strengthening resilience and improving social …

Kenyan scientists warn of health risk on animal antibiotics use

April 21st, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has warned that increased use of antibiotics to boost growth of animals is endangering the health of meat consumers.
Kemri’s Director for Microbiology Research Sam Kariuki on Thursday said that 70 per cent of antibiotics sold over the counter are being used to boost animal …

Smart technologies to ensure sustainable farming

April 19th, 2017 / Ethiopian Herald

“There is something that we are not doing properly, that is why we keep on falling short of feeding the whole Africa,” mutters Dr. Kodjo P. Abassa, trying to get comfy on his chair. Dr. Abassa, former Adviser at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has worked for more …

Scientists make a splash with urine experiment

March 23rd, 2017 / CIAT

A study conducted at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture is looking for a way to trap nitrogen from cattle urine in soil by harnessing the grass Brachiaria. Read …

Farm thefts: a big hindrance to agricultural development

March 7th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, reports: Farm thefts have become a major challenge and it is easy to understand why. The rapid population growth means more mouths to feed. The population increase has resulted in land fragmentation and smaller, overworked, and unproductive land plots. Unpredictable climatic conditions have further made it …

New app to help farmers manage livestock

January 16th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

After losing all his rabbits from which he raised money that saw him through school, Ronald Katamba was inspired to seek not only a method to curb livestock theft, but also to monitor the animals and birds on farm.
It is how he came to develop an application that does exactly …