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Milestone reached in fighting deadly wheat disease

December 22nd, 2017 / BBC, UK

Scientists say they have made a step forward in the fight against a wheat disease that threatens food security.
Wheat is a staple food crop, making up a fifth of the calories on our plates.
But in many parts of the world, the crop is being attacked by stem rust (black rust), …

Ethiopia: Teff gets mechanization solution

December 21st, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

After years of efforts to mechanize all crop productions of the country, the government has succeeded to come up with mechanization machinery for the production of Teff, the country’s principal staple food crop.
The planting harvesting and threshing machinery developed by the joint efforts of Ministry of Agriculture and National Resources …

African leaders convene to discuss ways to beat hunger and malnutrition

December 20th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

His Excellence Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Minister of State for Planning and Development of the Republic of Benin, and The Right Honorable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi co-chaired the first meeting of The Malabo Montpellier Forum in Cotonou, Benin.
“We are delighted to host the inaugural …

The world’s top banana is doomed and nobody can find a repllacement

December 20th, 2017 / Wall Street Journal, US

In June, a team of European researchers traveled to Papua New Guinea on a mission of global significance. They came to search for the Giant Banana plant.
The scientists traveled through the jungles of the South Pacific nation, by car and on foot, accompanied by two armed guards. They were tantalized …

When you want to keep a dairy cow …

December 19th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali advises:
Many smallholder farmers tend to go into dairy cow keeping by blind trust.
They are told about the economic benefits of owning a dairy cow and they go for one without taking sufficient time to inquire about the suitability and qualities of the cow they want …

GMOs might feed the world if investors weren’t so scared

December 15th, 2017 / Bloomberg, US

In the basement of Koshland Hall at the University of California at Berkeley is a trove of seeds with the potential to fix some of agriculture’s most vexing problems.
There are wheat seeds—both hypoallergenic, so more people could eat it, and of a variety able to better withstand unpredictable rainfall—a growing …

Climate change: Gates Foundation pledges $300m for Africa, Asia farmers

December 15th, 2017 / Blueprint, Nigeria

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $300 million (about N108 billion) in grants to support agricultural research which would help poor farmers to adapt to the consequences of climate change.
The Foundation announced the commitment, which will run between 2018 and 2020, at the One Planet Summit in Paris on …

Biocontrol tech slashes aflatoxin levels in Tanzania

December 15th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A biocontrol technology called AflasafeTZ could help control the deadly aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnuts in Tanzania, scientists say.
After a two-year field trial conducted in several sites across Tanzania, AflasafeTZ reduced contamination of food crops with the poisonous fungus by over 85 per cent, according to the results of …

Can a GM banana solve Uganda’s hunger crisis?

December 13th, 2017 / Guardian, UK

After an afternoon drizzle, Ephraim Muhereza carefully scouts his three-acre banana plantation in Gayaza, Wakiso district, plucking male buds from trees. This will stop his plants from catching the notorious banana bacterial wilt, which has destroyed many farms in Uganda.
“We have been told that to reduce the spread of the …

Mind the (food) gap

December 12th, 2017 / Daily Maverick, South Africa

By the middle of this century, the world’s farmers will have another 2.4-billion mouths to feed, half of which will be in Africa. But if we only focus on producing more calories of food per hectare, and throttling back population growth in order to fill the gap, we won’t address …