In the news...

This treadle pump is big deal

April 20th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Samuel Ojok is a vegetable farmer in Otuke District in northern Uganda. Every tomato season, he grows two or more acres of tomatoes and other vegetables such as cabbage, green pepper, onions and watermelons.
He is never worried about his garden running short of water or getting affected by a change …

Uganda: ‘Disaster’: Scientists condemn GM law amendments

April 20th, 2018 / Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports:
A number of scientists have expressed shock and anger at the proposed restrictive requirements that were included in the long-awaited law on Biotechnology with some labelling them a disaster and a huge setback for the country.
The angry reactions come in the wake of a new report …

Researchers develop first gene drive targeting worldwide crop pest

April 20th, 2018 / Phys.org

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have developed a method of manipulating the genes of an agricultural pest that has invaded much of the United States and caused millions of dollars in damage to high-value berry and other fruit crops.
Research led by Anna Buchman in the lab of …

Practicing coffee tissue culture to boost Ethiopian coffee production

April 20th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Coffee is an important international commodity next to oil. According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) report, as more of the world population turns to coffee consumption particularly Latin America and the populous nations like India and china, demand for the beverage estimated to increase by nearly 25 percent over …

FAO – Lack of modern farming techniques threaten food security in Africa

April 19th, 2018 / PM News, Nigeria

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that lack of modern farming techniques threatens Africa’s food security.
Josef Kienzle, FAO’s Leader of the Mechanisation task team, said that unless the governments adopt new technologies of farming, the continent will continue relying on food aid.
“There is need for a paradigm …

The biotech innovator behind tissue culture in banana farming – Erostus Nsubug

April 18th, 2018 / The Observer, Uganda

EROSTUS NJUKI NSUBUGA is the chairman of the Uganda biotechnology consortium but is best known as the brains behind the groundbreaking of tissue culture of breeding bananas.
Nsubuga holds a master’s degree in agriculture but it means little other than being just part of his long curriculum vitae detailing. He always …

Water from the sun: solar-powered water pumps offer African farmers a way out of poverty

April 18th, 2018 / GTM

Joshua Okundi’s five-acre farm is his classroom. A longtime schoolteacher who left his job to become a farmer in 2013, Okundi is an instructor to the constant stream of visitors who arrive at his home in Kendu, a small rural village in the western reaches of Kenya.
Visitors come seeking advice, …

Crop protection companies making strides in Africa

April 18th, 2018 / IEG Policy

Africa is making steady progress towards agricultural transformation. Over the past decade there has been a dramatic change in different countries and various localities. There is a noticeable upward shift in expenditure on agriculture by national governments in African countries.
Many countries have reaffirmed their commitment to prioritizing agriculture in their …

Seed companies must show commitment to end food insecurity in Africa

April 17th, 2018 / New Vision, Uganda

The rainy season is already here with us and most farmers have begun to plant various seeds nearly across Africa.
As the farmers descend upon their farms, one big issue that lingers among researchers is the inability of these farmers to access certified seed that can serve their immediate …

Can genetic maize rescue our farmers from Fall Armyworm?

April 16th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

Genetically modified maize, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) could be Kenya’s silver bullet in the fight against Fall Armyworm which has so far destroyed more than 200,000 acres of maize farms since 2016.
The biologically modified seed is incorporated with specific protein content that chocks the worm which continues to wreak havoc across …