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Fighting Africa’s fall armyworm invasion with radio shows and phone apps

October 29th, 2019

The invasive fall armyworm is native to the Americas and was first found in Africa in early 2016. It has since spread to nearly all of sub-Saharan Africa.Fall armyworm is a voracious pest of over 80 plant species including maize, millet, rice, and sorghum and has been causing food insecurity …

The mega-pests of Africa and their economic effect

September 23rd, 2019 / Farmers Review Africa

Typical to agrarian economies, the African economy is heavily dependent on agriculture.

One may wonder; “with over 50% of its population involved in agriculture, why the agricultural economic results are so low?”

In a previous article, I had already addressed the fundamental reasons that cerate’s the agricultural pest control difficulties in Africa …

New app diagnoses crop diseases

September 16th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:

A team of scientists in conjunction with the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) Namulonge has developed a mobile phone application which uses artificial intelligence to accurately identify crop pests and diseases in the field.

The app also delivers the latest advice to manage all major diseases …

Biotech crops continue to help meet the challenges of increased population and climate change

August 22nd, 2019 / ISAAA, US

A total of 70 countries adopted biotech crops through cultivation and importation in 2018, the 23rd year of continuous biotech crop adoption, according to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018(ISAAA Brief 54) released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) today. Twenty-six countries (21 …

Plant breeding innovation can help solve global challenges

August 12th, 2019

Plant breeding innovations must play a role to address the global challenges such as climate change, a growing population, and the need for resource efficient farming systems. This is according to the Transgenic Research article by Petra Jorasch of the International Seed Federation.

Improved plant varieties that can withstand pests and diseases using fewer resources, plants exhibiting stable yield …

Africa still wary of GMOs

August 12th, 2019

Scientists argued that GMOs can help in many ways, including developing crop varieties that are resistant to diseases, drought, predators or pests, a move that they say will lead to food security in Africa. But not everyone agrees … Read more … …

When you decide to become a farmer

August 6th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Some people become farmers in their early youth and many others begin later, after years of formal employment. 

However there are important considerations to make before making the decision to go into farming. You have to be certain about what you want to do — it could …

Crop protection: globally, farmers lose 30-40 percent of their crops due to pests and diseases

July 26th, 2019 / Farmers Review Africa

Globally, farmers lose 30-40 percent of their crops due to pests and diseases, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

To produce a good yield of a high quality, producers must protect their crop against insects, diseases and weeds. Small grain diseases affect production by reducing the yield and impairing the …

A CRISPR approach to saving banana

April 23rd, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

CRISPR/Cas9‐based genome editing is offering new hope for protecting a critical food security crop by developing climate-smart banana varieties.

Research to identify the genes associated with stress‐tolerant traits and other uses of gene editing and genetic engineering to help banana varieties adapt to a changing climate is highlighted in an April …

Unlocking agricultural potential to achieve food security and sustainability for 9.7 billion

February 26th, 2019 / Professor Christopher J. Leaver, Emeritus Professor of Plant Science, University of Oxford; Founder member of B4FA

‘He who has bread may have troubles, He who lacks it has only one.’Old Byzantine proverb

Since 1950 the world’s population has almost tripled to 7.7 billion and until recently the relative abundance of food has kept pace, with the poorest benefiting the most. Over the years the so-called Green Revolution, despite …