In the news...

The complicated history of a crop created to help millions

October 14th, 2019

The term genetically modified organisms (GMOs) inspires images of crazy crops: a single plant that bears tomatoes above ground and potatoes beneath, or a tree that bears a fruit with stripes of yellow sour orange and green stripes from citron. Unlikely as they may sound, the two plants described above …

How farmers can gain better farm knowledge

October 14th, 2019

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Good farmers should continuously seek new knowledge about their work. Farming is dynamic and agricultural practices keep changing. New markets for agricultural products often come with new conditions that have to be met. 

Time and again challenges crop up and a farmer will need guidance on how …

Why schools must emphasise farming

October 7th, 2019

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali explains: In his essay titled ‘Education for Self-Reliance’ Mwalimu Julius Nyerere spoke of a situation where the type of education provided to Tanzanian children soon after the country’s independence was divorced from the society which it was supposed to prepare them for. 

He argued that children were …

The key to food security in Africa lies in the treasure trove of global crop biodiversity

October 7th, 2019

Global plant diversity could be a lifeline for food security in sub-Saharan Africa, finds a new study. 

The analysis reveals that replacing some at-risk African food crops with more resilient crops from other parts of the world, as well as tapping the huge genetic diversity of crop wild relatives, could help shore up …

12 technologies that will help feed 9 billion people without wrecking the planet

October 2nd, 2019

Although technology is transforming just about every area of life we care to consider, in the vital area of sustainable agriculture, things are not happening quite so fast.

Food has a heavy environmental impact, but although technology today is doing much to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle environmental issues in …

New breeding technologies needed to meet skyrocketing demand for wheat, scientists warn

September 30th, 2019

New technologies and policies are needed to meet the skyrocketing demand for wheat, which is expected to increase 50 to 60 percent by 2050.

That was the key takeaway from the recent International Wheat Congress (IWC) in Saskatoon, Canada, which attracted over 900 delegates from 50 different countries, including researchers from …

FAO underlines role of forests in food security

September 30th, 2019

The role of forests in supporting food security and nutrition in Africa remains largely under-researched, the Food and Agriculture Organization said.

FAO country representative Gabriel Rugalema said adequate attention has not been given at policy level to the link between forests and food security and nutrition.

“With food security and nutrition high …

Africa: the food industry needs to do more to support heathy foods

September 26th, 2019 / AllAfrica

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Director-General Qu Dongyu has called for the food industry to do more to support healthy foods, and to reduce food loss and waste throughout the cycle of food systems from farm to fork.

“Nutrition should not be an ends in itself, but rather a means …

Biofortification: a case of sweet potatoes

September 23rd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes:

Hidden hunger is caused by a chronic lack of critical vitamins and minerals that puts children and adults at increased risk of stunting, anaemia, blindness, infectious diseases and even death. 

Experts state that one in three people globally suffer from hidden hunger and women and children are …

World must transform food production or face unrest, scientists warn

September 18th, 2019 / The East African, Kenya

The world must diversify its food production and consumption, or face damaging supply disruptions that could lead to suffering and social unrest, scientists warned on Monday.

A new global study found the health and environmental benefits of transforming the way we farm would outweigh heavily the cost of doing so, with …