In the news...

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 …

Re-imagining African agriculture

August 3rd, 2015 / UNEP, Kenya

Over 1,200 experts, policy makers and participants today adopted the Nairobi Action Agenda on Ecosystem based Adaptation for food security and formed the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), which re-imagines a system of agriculture for the continent that would be beneficial both economically and environmentally. As the …

Ghana shares new superlab with West African scientists

July 31st, 2015 / SciDev.net

VIDEO: “For once researchers in Ghana can start to dream. Right now you are not limited by the absence of equipment,” says Lawrence Borquaye, assistant manager of the new central laboratory at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). The idea behind it is to reduce costs by sharing …

New vegetable lab launched to boost food security

July 30th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: A new regional lab. in Ghana, the Vegetables Innovation Laboratory (VIL) at the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, aims to develop the vegetable industry through research, development and innovation to improve food and nutritional security in West Africa. It will …

Climate-smart companion cropping lets African farmers increase yields

July 27th, 2015 / Rothamsted Research, UK

Rothamsted scientists, in partnership with icipe, have developed a climate-smart push-pull companion cropping system which allows smallholder African farmers to sustainably increase their agricultural production.  Read …

Rwanda: Farmers urged to consider deploying insects against maize stem borer pests

July 2nd, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Agricultural scientists are calling for more research and investment in the use of parasitoid species, aptly referred to as ‘natural enemies’, to control pests in sub-Saharan Africa. They are observing the efficacy of various natural enemies such as cotesia flavipes and cotesia sesamiae (both types of wasp larvae) and certain types …

Orange sweet potato reduces diarrhea in African children

June 16th, 2015 / IFPRI, US

A new study has found that orange sweet potato (OSP) reduced both the prevalence and duration of diarrhea in young children in Mozambique. The OSP was conventionally bred to provide more vitamin A in the diet. In Africa, more than 40 percent of children aged under five are estimated to …

Solving insect resistance to environmentally friendly farming

June 14th, 2015 / Bioscience Technology, US

After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.  Read …