In the news...

Potential of GMOs to combat crop diseases converting skeptical Ugandan politicians

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Ugandan banana breeders at Kawanda have improved local banana varieties to resist the devastating banana bacterial wilt.
Potato breeders at Kachwekano in partnership with International Centre for Potato have improved the locally grown Victoria Potato variety to resist late blight disease so that potato farmers will not have to buy fungicides.
Cassava …

Tanzania sets record in potato research, to release improved varieties

February 21st, 2018 / The Citizen, Tanzania

Tanzania has excelled in experimental trials of high yielding and disease resistant potato varieties under a climate smart agriculture programme aimed to improve food security.
Three of 14 varieties brought into the country by the International Potato Centre (CIP) for field trials in Lushoto district did well and two of them …

Why a global decline in genetic crop variety matters for the future of food

February 16th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Potatoes are native to the Andes, and over 4,000 varieties are grown there now. They come in numerous shapes, sizes and colors – red, yellow, purple, striped and spotted. A colorful mound of them resembles the bold, burnished colors of locally woven shawls.
This wide array of types is an example …

Kenya: agricultural stakeholders to market potato as the food of choice

February 1st, 2018 / FarmBiz Africa

Agricultural stakeholders led by the Kenya Health Plant Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) are set to market and promote the growing of potatoes in Kenya as a food of choice to enhance food security.
Potato marketing will be done through potato field days set to be organized by all stakeholders in the potato …

GM potato: Variety could deflate GMO myths’ bubble in Uganda

January 10th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Uganda is steadily progressing towards having a potato that will not require chemical spraying. This is because scientists at National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) and International Potato Centre have developed Late Blight resistant variety, Vic 1 from the popularly grown susceptible Victoria variety.
According to Dr Alex Barekye, who is the …

140 new drought-resistant seeds unveiled to address food insecurity

November 27th, 2017 / The Standard, Kenya

The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate (Kephis) has released 140 new drought-resistant and fast-maturing seed varieties into the market. Kephis Managing Director Esther Kimani said the new variety of seeds would help to address food insecurity, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. “These varieties are drought-tolerant and early-maturing, and superior to …

Disease resistant potato field tests show positive results

October 25th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Ugandan scientists are positive that GM potatoes will be commercially available in their country in 2020.
According to Dr. Alex Barekye, Director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute, research on disease resistant potato is underway. So far, three trials of Victoria potato variety have been conducted and the performance of the …

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, …

Deal agreed to export Scottish seed potatoes to Kenya

November 22nd, 2016 / Aberdeen Press & Journal, UK

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, who announced the trade deal at AgriScot, said the potential market demand for Scottish seed tatties in Kenya was significant.
“Kenya grows around 160,000 hectares (395,360 acres) of potatoes annually but only 2% of this is grown from certified seed potatoes,” said Mr Ewing.
“This agreement with …

Ordeal of potato farmer who planted 80kg but harvested 4kg

June 1st, 2016 / Sunrise, Uganda

Stephen Tindimubona planted an 80kg sack of Irish Potatoes in the August-September planting season last year, and hoped to get about a tone but was shocked to harvest just 4kgs from half an acre. It was an inexplicably huge loss for an experienced farmer such as Tindimubona who had …