In the news...

Ants are as effectives as pesticides

September 2nd, 2015 / Aarhus Science and Technology, Denmark

A new scientific review from Aarhus University shows that when farmers use ants as pest controllers, it is just as effective as using chemicals. In addition, the method is sustainable – and far cheaper. See …

Enhancing food security using PICS bags

August 31st, 2015 / Graphic Online, Ghana

Effective storage of grains such as maize, beans, cowpea, groundnuts and rice has always been a major challenge to smallholder farmers, not only in the country, but the rest of Africa. Grains are mostly destroyed by pests and insects within three months of storage due to the lack of proper …

Who benefits from IP rights in agricultural innovation?

August 29th, 2015 / WIPO, Switzerland

In a finite world with an ever-expanding population, agricultural innovation is vital in order to increase productivity and secure the global food supply. But agricultural research and development (R&D) is a risky and costly business. In the past, agricultural R&D was largely publicly funded but today, increasingly the private sector …

Rwanda: Micronutrient fertilisers can double crop yields

August 24th, 2015 / The New Times, Rwanda

Farmers planting rice, potatoes, wheat, beans and maize can almost double their produce with the use of micronutrient fertilisers and lime, a new study indicates. This is according to a study conducted in 2014 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) in partnership with International Fertiliser Development Centre …

Rice production could increase 33%

August 22nd, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A newly discovered gene could increase rice production by up to a third, according to a study by Chinese scientists, potentially offering a new weapon in the fight against global hunger. By modifying the plant’s BG1 gene, the researchers said they were able to create one of the largest rice …

Gene therapy for a changing climate

August 19th, 2015 / Can we feed the world?

Supporting smallholder farmers to better adapt to climate change and build their resilience to a variety of risks – weather-related or not – can be done in a variety of ways. For example, better access to finance can enable farmers to invest more in their farms; better training can …

New project to help cocoa farmers tackle climate change

August 11th, 2015 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports on a project based on applied climate science has been launched to help cocoa farmers in Ghana adapt to the effects of climate change. The project, which targets cocoa-based farming systems in Ghana, leverages existing value chain interventions and will translate climate science into actionable …

Kenya: New hope for mango farmers as destructive bug meets its foe

August 11th, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

The fruit fly, a pest that has plagued mango farmers for years, has an unlikely foe – its own species. A new technology uses the pest as a host to a fungus that ensures the fruit fly’s own destruction. See …

Video: Management of weeds in rice

August 10th, 2015 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash talks to weed scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute(CSIR-SARI) Michael Mawunya, who explains that proper land preparation is critical in weed management of rice fields. See …

Why the choice of seed is critical in crop production

August 5th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: Much as we value soil fertility and sufficient rainfall for successful crop production, a lot of attention ought to be paid to the kind of seeds that we plant. Poor quality seeds will most likely result in low yields even if they are planted in …