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Royalty-free seeds, mobile devices help African farmers boost crop yields despite drought

April 9th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project

As our global population continues to grow and the climate becomes hotter and drier and resources become scarcer…. we need both food and fresh water to survive, but growing food demands significant fresh water as well. Our efforts to ensure both food security and ample fresh water supplies are intertwined, …

Kenya farmers lose over Sh150 billion in post-harvest losses

February 27th, 2019 / CropNuts, Kenya

Post harvest losses in Kenya are startling as revealed by recent stats from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)

In 2017, Sh150 billion worth of food went to waste, tossed out or left to rot, a report that tries to track food waste has said. According to the National Bureau …

How farmers can reduce the losses on their farms this year

February 27th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Michael J. Ssali, B4FA Fellow, writes:

Crops harvested in fresh form usually get spoiled in a short time if no effort is made to preserve them. 

The same happens to animal food products such as fish, meat, and milk. When food is spoiled it develops an offensive smell, an unpleasant appearance and …

Boosting plants’ uptake of vitamins and minerals

February 26th, 2019 / The Scientist, US

The corn Elsbeth Walker grows looks a bit strange. Its leaves are streaked with yellow, instead of being entirely green. This yellow-streaked corn is a mutant that has trouble taking in iron, making it hard for the plant to create chlorophyll, a green pigment involved in photosynthesis.

Walker, a molecular biologist at the …

GM maize’s surprising benefit

February 25th, 2019 / Youtube.com

Reporter Joseph Opoku Gakpo tells the story of how African farmers are excited about GMO maize engineered to resist the destructive stem borer pest, which has also shown promising resistance to the devastating fall armyworm pest. Watch the …

New crop loss study underscores urgent need for resistant varieties

February 25th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Plant pests and diseases are significantly reducing yields of five major food crops across the globe, underscoring the critical need to develop new resistant varieties, according to a new study.

Some 137 pathogens and pests cause losses of 10 to 40 percent in the staple crops — wheat, maize (corn), soybeans, …

Crop diversity worldwide is growing, but wheat, maize (corn), soy, and rice cover almost 50% of farmland worldwide

February 19th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Global agriculture is increasingly dominated by just a handful of crops with limited genetic richness, says a group of researchers writing in PLOS One.

The research shows that despite an uptick in the diversity of crops grown across the planet over the last 60 years, the largest share of our crops worldwide is …

Combat striga with push-pull technology

February 19th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports

If you manage to visit farmers growing cereal crops in most parts of East Africa including Uganda, you will notice striga weed infestation is a huge challenge.

Striga also known as witch weed, is a coerce plant parasitic weed which infests roots of the host plant …

GM crops create “halo effect” that benefits organic farmers, says new research

January 28th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Mark Lynas writes:

Growing genetically modified insect-resistant corn in the United States has dramatically reduced insecticide use and created a “halo effect” that also benefits farmers raising non-GM and organic crops, new research shows.

This finding, published by University of Maryland researchers in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, effectively …

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 …