In the news...

Post-harvest is very important …

July 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssale writes:
If post-harvesting handling of cash crops like coffee, maize or beans is poor their quality deteriorates and they fetch less profit for the farmers.
A lot of our agricultural produce is spoilt and lost from the time the crops approach maturity in the fields, through harvesting, storage, …

Scientists launch alliance to hasten crop improvements in Africa

July 24th, 2017 / Coastweek.com

Scientists have launched an international scientific alliance to fast track crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvements in Africa (ACACIA) will also contribute in helping African scientists to fasten solutions to local food security challenges.
“This initiative will harness the strengths of the global scientific community, as well …

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 …

Plant genetics, ecologically based farming and the future of food

July 21st, 2017 / John Wiley, US

For 10,000 years, we have altered the genetic makeup of our crops. Conventional approaches are often quite crude, resulting in new varieties through a combination of trial and error, and without knowledge of the precise function of the genes that are being transferred. Such methods include grafting or forced pollinations …

The important relationship between forest landscapes and healthy diets

July 20th, 2017 / Forest News

It’s a bit ironic that while wild foraged ingredients are increasingly popping up on Michelin-starred menus around the world, the communities who have traditionally subsisted on these foods are consuming them less and less.
Baobab fruit and bush mango for vitamins and minerals; bushmeat for fats and micronutrients; bamboo shoots for …

Policy perspective: how implementation of the SDGs can put an end to undernutrition

July 20th, 2017 / Global Nutrition Report

Global levels of undernutrition are still unacceptably high, with 155 million children under five stunted and 52 million threatened by wasting. Over 3 million children still die of malnutrition every year. Factors and pathways leading to undernutrition are diverse, complex, and most often interconnected. In order to address the scourge …

Scientists unlock planthoppers’ potential to control future crop disease outbreaks

July 20th, 2017 / EurekAlert, AAAS

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Zoology have discovered how a severe rice virus reproduces inside the small brown planthopper, a major carrier of the virus.
Rice stripe virus (RSV) causes major damage to rice crops each year. The study could inform future strategies for controlling the spread …

Bio tech crops help African countries

July 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
It was reported in this column last month that maize, cassava, and cotton farmers in North Eastern Tanzania, had appealed to senior government officials to give them Genetically Modified (GM) crops to plant in order to avoid persistent crop failure.
This followed vain attempts made for years …

Agritech will not take root without better communication

July 18th, 2017 / Eco-business

Technology has the potential to raise crop yields, cut fertiliser use, improve farming efficiency and, by its nature, make the world’s oldest and least digitised industry more sustainable.
But without better communication of the benefits to farmers and the end consumer, agritech could suffer the same fate as genetically modified crops …

Aquaculture to play significant role in Africa’s food security – NEPAD

July 14th, 2017 / PM News, Nigeria

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on Wednesday said fisheries and aquaculture play a significant role in Africa’s economy, food security and nutrition.
Dr Bernice McLean, a Senior Programme Officer for Fisheries, NEPAD, made the assertion at a stakeholders’ workshop on the Pre-Assessment of the Semi-Industrial Shrimp Fishery in Lagos.
“Fisheries …