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Weaver ants lift cashew nut yields in Benin trial

May 11th, 2015 / SciDevNet, UK

Patrols of ants on cashew nut trees can roughly double the yield of the crop, according to researchers in Benin. The researchers say that African weaver ants (Oecophylla longinoda) are an effective natural way to reduce considerable losses of cashew nuts from insect pests, such as fruit flies, and improve …

Kenyan government urged to lift its ban that on GMO imports

May 9th, 2015 / Coast Week, Kenya

Scientists meeting in Nairobi have urged the government to lift the ban that was imposed on the importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in 2012. The Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) said that the ban has slowed down the momentum that Kenya has built in agricultural research. …

What do we really know about glyphosate?

May 5th, 2015 / National Geographic, US

Seeds have been genetically engineered to tolerate glyphhosate so farmers can apply it to entire fields without destroying crops. As a result, its use has skyrocketed but some experts say research is needed exploring what happens to it in the environment and how much people are exposed. Read …

Africa: New Global Crop Data Aid in Food Policy Decisions

May 4th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Knowing where in the world individual crops are cultivated, their production patterns, and whether they are irrigated or rain fed are essential components for ensuring adequate, sustainable food production and safeguarding food security. Yet this critical data is often inadequate or non-existent, leaving policymakers unable to formulate the best policies …

How air pollution affects agriculture

March 18th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports on how crops can be injured when exposed to high concentrations of various air pollutants. Injury ranges from visible markings on crop leaves, to reduced growth and yield, to premature death. In case of animals, it may lead to infection as a result of …

B4FA Nigerian book launch: “We need technology to improve food security”

March 26th, 2013

On 20 March, B4FA held the Nigerian launch of its new book, Insights: Africa’s future … Can biosciences contribute? According to several Nigerian leaders, the book is a welcome call for an open discussion of science, technology and agriculture.
“This is a subject dear to my heart. … I went to the web …

Ghanaian journalists investigate bioscience potential for farmers

March 18th, 2013

Over twenty Ghanaian journalists gathered this past week (12-16 March) to learn about – and experience – the biosciences and plant genetics in Accra, Ghana. The B4FA Media Fellows were joined by media fellows from Autumn 2012 and a team of scientific experts and journalism mentors who engaged them in …

B4FA book launch spurs debate about bioscience in Ghana

March 16th, 2013

Discussants at Ghana Insights book launch
On 14 March, Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) launched its new book of essays, Insights – Africa’s future … can biosciences contribute? at the Ghana International Press Centre.
B4FA welcomed several discussants, including the Hon. Dr. A.Y. Alhassan, the Chair of the Ghanaian Parliament Agriculture Committee, Prof. Josephine …

Tanzanian journalists cultivate plant science curiosity

November 8th, 2012

Tanzanian journalists gathered in Arusha, Tanzania from 4-9 November 2012 to cultivate their knowledge about plant science and why it matters to smallholding farmers across their country through a series of insightful workshops and hands-on science experiments with leading experts from Tanzania, Europe and North America.  Over the course of …