In the news...

Biosafety law a red card to pests, says pro-biotech campaigner

October 11th, 2017 / Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports:
The newly enacted Biosafety Act 2017 is a Red Card to some of the most menacing crop pests and diseases that are currently ravaging hundreds of farms owned by smallholder farmers across Uganda, leading to food insecurity and economic instability, according to one pro-GMO campaigner.
Arthur Makara, …

New app diagnoses crop diseases in the field and alerts rural farmers

September 30th, 2017 / CGIAR

The team behind a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose crop diseases in the field has won a $US100,000 award to help expand their project to help millions of small-scale farmers across Africa.
Cassava brown streak disease is spreading westward across the African continent, and together with …

Scientists intensify crop breeding

September 20th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Ugandan scientists have intensified efforts to breed key crops using conventional and biotechnology mechanisms in a bid for farmers to grow high yielding crops which are also resistant to pests and diseases.
Scientists from National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) have been breeding hybrid varieties of crops such …

FAO to tackle army-worm disease in Africa

September 11th, 2017

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has developed a five year project known as `Fall Army-worm’ to control the spread of army-worm disease in Africa.
Mr Allan Hruska, the Principal Technical Coordinator of the project, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, that the task …

Farmers and scientists embrace Naro technologies

August 22nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
There are efforts by scientists in agricultural sector in Uganda to breed key crops using conventional and biotechnology mechanism in a bid for farmers to grow crops which are resistant to pests and diseases and tolerant to drought to achieve improved yields.
Scientists from the National Agricultural …

Plants love microbes – and so do farmers

August 10th, 2017 / UQ News, Australia

Increasingly, farmers want to capitalise on beneficial microbes to support their crops, and science can assist the design of effective crop probiotics to make crops healthier, hardier and more productive, by increasing their resilience to pests, diseases and environmental stresses, and improving access to nutrients. Read …

Controlling rats on small-scale African farms is vital for food security

August 3rd, 2017 / The Conversation

Recent analysis suggests that Africa will only be able to achieve food security if it invests in crop intensification like increased fertiliser and pesticide input per hectare. But the expansion of agricultural production areas can also improve this.
A complicating factor in African agriculture is that most of the production comes …

Cracking the code of megapests

August 3rd, 2017 / CSIRO

Led by CSIRO, in collaboration with a team of renowned experts, the researchers identified more than 17,000 protein coding genes in the genomes of the Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the Cotton Bollworm and Corn Earworm, respectively).
They also documented how these genetics have changed overtime.
This level of …

Gov’t imports predators to kill fall armyworm

July 28th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

In a bid to completely contain the killer fall armyworm, government has imported prowling insects which will eat the heavily destructive worm.
On Thursday at the ongoing National Agricultural Trade Show in Jinja, Dr Imelda Kashaija, the deputy director general for technology at Naro, revealed the predators are being tested by …

17 issues raised, agreed at FAO experts meeting on fall armyworm in Africa

July 21st, 2017 / Joy Online, Ghana

The three-day Experts meeting which started on Tuesday in Accra is to deliberate on the outbreak of the Fall Armyworm (FAW) infestation rapidly spreading across the Africa region.
It also aims at exchanging practical experiences and best practices on how best to manage FAW.
Key bulletins of what transpired at the meeting …