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Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

September 1st, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties. The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert. Read …

Agric agencies need more resources to fight Armyworm – Scientists

August 29th, 2017 / Joy Online, South Africa

The government has been urged to better resource agencies under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) if it is serious about avoiding another widespread destruction by the Fall Armyworm.
Dr. Audrey Vanderpuye of the School of Agriculture at the University of Cape Coast says the Plant Protection and Regulatory …

Delay in using GM crops making Africa lose benefits

August 29th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

The delay in approving the use of genetically modified (GM) crops is contributing to malnutrition and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, a study says.
Many African governments are grappling with opponents and proponents of GM crops, thus facilitating a delay in adoption, especially when uncertainty about GM crops are announced shortly before …

Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

August 29th, 2017 / Daily News, Tanzania

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties.
The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert.
Mostly grown by Tanzanian farmers, the varieties …

Can epigenetics change the way we breed crops for drought and climate change?

August 24th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Crops that can withstand the ravages of climate change or resist killer diseases? Many already have been developed — including varieties of bananas, cassava, wheat and oranges — but they languish on laboratory shelves as their creators navigate the complex, and sometimes contradictory, regulations developed over the years to deal …

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 …

Is our type of agriculture really working?

August 21st, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Most of our farmers work on small plots of land and can be described as family farmers, smallholders or just peasants. This kind of farming provides employment to about 70 per cent of our adult population.
Typically a peasant farmer uses a hand hoe and a machete, …

The key to drought-tolerant crops may be in the leaves

August 21st, 2017 / Phys.org

A solution to help farmers to grow crops in dry areas or during stretches of drought may depend on breeding and cultivating plants that protect themselves with a thicker layer of leaf wax, a new study shows.
Sarah Feakins, a scientist at USC who has studied leaf wax in the context …

Researchers model ways to control deadly maize disease

August 18th, 2017 / SciDevNet

In Kenya, researchers have used mathematical modelling to develop how to combat two co-infecting viruses causing maize lethal necrosis – which can cause up to 90 per cent loss of yield. According to researchers who conducted the new study, because maize is a staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa, the spread …

Enhancing powdery mildew resistance in wheat

August 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) suffers significant yield losses due to powdery mildew, a major fungal disease caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt). The enhanced disease resistance1 (EDR1) gene plays a negative role in the defense response against powdery mildew in Arabidopsis thaliana, making EDR1 a target for improving …