In the news...

Scientists make breakthrough in blight-resistant Irish potatoes

February 10th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) is in the process of breeding Irish Potato varieties that are resistant to late blight, a fungal disease ravaging the crop in farmers’ fields across the country. Read …

Suppressing growth: how GMO opposition hurts developing nations

February 9th, 2016 / Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

Meet Campaigns against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), originating primarily in Europe, have created significant obstacles to the development and adoption of genetically modified crops. While the policies and practices resulting from these campaigns impose considerable costs on the economies of origin, they disproportionately hurt those nations with the greatest need …

Fungus-resistant wheat varieties released, farmers to get seed

February 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) is to make available a couple of disease-resistant wheat varieties to farmers for the next planting season. The three recently released varieties are resistant to UG99 stem rust virus and were developed by Buginyanya Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute …

Four African agricultural start-ups leading the field

February 5th, 2016 / CNN, US

As The World Bank recently reported, food production in sub-Saharan Africa needs to increase by 60 percent over the next 15 years to feed a growing population. But with the challenges to improve production, come new opportunities. Women across the continent are taking matters into their own hands, and kick-starting …

Most African smallholder farmers mainly buy seeds through informal markets

January 23rd, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Small, family farmers in Africa purchase more than half of their seeds every year through local markets and other informal sources – neglected outlets that present a major opportunity for improving access to better crop varieties crucial to dealing with climate, nutrition, and other production challenges in a region where …

New seed varieties NOT reaching small farmers

January 22nd, 2016 / Eye Witness News, South Africa

Africa’s small farmers, more than half of whom buy their seeds from local informal markets, need access to improved seeds that can yield more food and cope with climate change, according to research. Innovations in food science, including seeds that produce vitamin-rich food and crops that can withstand the hotter, …

How arsenic builds up in plant seeds discovered

January 6th, 2016 / ISAAA

Arsenic, both a toxin and a carcinogen, comes from minerals and is used in some herbicides, animal growth promoters, and semiconductors. It is a pervasive environmental contaminant of food and water that threatens the health of tens of millions people worldwide. Read …

Nitrogen-fixing tech aiding legume yields

January 5th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

A low-cost nitrogen fixing technology for legume crops is being given to small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe to improve national food and nutrition security. The Chemistry and Soil Research Institute in Zimbabwe is distributing sachets that contain inoculated Rhizobia bacteria — a technique for adding bacteria to a carrier medium to …

Opposition to GMOs is about corporations, not technology

January 5th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The positions of major NGOs on GMOs and climate change are quite consistent if one considers that the real issue is not opposition to GM technology, but rather to large petro/chemical companies. Large petro/oil companies commonly profit from fossil fuel usage; therefore policies which mean reduced fossil fuel usage are …

Forage farming changes lives of Zimbabwe smallholder farmers

January 4th, 2016 / ILRI News

With the right training and support, food and nutrition insecurity can become a thing from the past. With training in conservation agriculture and fodder production practices, the Gore family have tripled their income in two years and are now able to pay for their children’s school fees. After buying goats, …