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Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation save farmers maize disease headache

November 27th, 2015 / Mediamax, Kenya

I have been on a two-week break and I am back to continue preaching the biotechnology gospel — at times to the chagrin of some — but then last week’s announcement on a breakthrough in the fight against the deadly Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) by our eminent scientists, …

It is time to store water during this rainy season

November 27th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: We live in a world of contrasts. Only a few weeks ago, in most parts of Uganda, we complained about scarcity of rain. Yet, now the general complaint is there is a lot of rain. It makes the on-going political campaigns difficult since most …

B4FA Week in Review – 25 November 2015

November 25th, 2015 / B4FA.org

As governments prepare for the UNFCCC climate conference, which starts in Paris in just a few days, headlines abound with stories about how wayward climate patterns are set to affect many – and already are. A World Bank report states climate change could push 100 million people back into poverty …

We need a voluntary international agreement to protect soil

November 24th, 2015 / Nature, UK

The history now being written in the world’s soils is not so rosy. Every year, 75 billion tonnes of crop soil are lost worldwide to erosion by wind and water, and through agriculture; this costs about US$400 billion a year3. Only a few countries have national legislation protecting soil, …

New potato varieties to boost productivity in Tanzania, Kenya could borrow some tips

November 14th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Brian Moseti writes “… Mtanga Farms Limited (MFL), in partnership with the Tanzanian government, announced the registration of four new potato varieties with the company promising to multiply and sell these seed potatoes to local farmers. With access to clean seed material, Tanzanian farmers for whom potatoes are a major …

GM crops and the developing world: opposing sides miss the bigger picture

November 14th, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

Sally Brooks writes “… The majority of genetically modified (GM) crops are now cultivated in the developing world. In 2014, around 53% of the 182m hectares (nearly two million square kilometres) of GM crops were grown in these countries… but in sub-Saharan Africa, there are only 2.7m hectares of …

New technology to help farmers use fertilisers, boost their yields

November 12th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes: A study done by National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL) Kawanda shows that Uganda faces severe soil nutrient depletion. This is because many farmers keep tilling the land over and over again without applying practices that maintain soil fertility. Therefore, it recommends that small holder farmers …

Land fragmentation is the biggest challenge we face

November 11th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Ugandan agriculture today is sub-division of farm lands. It is mainly associated with the traditional inheritance systems of our communities, which also still treasure large families. A man gets married to a number of wives, each one of whom produces …

Smallholders gaining from nitrogen-efficient maize

November 10th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Smallholders face challenges such as poor soils and high cost of fertilisers. New improved varieties can raise yields by 30 per cent even in poor soils. Smallholders are seeing the varieties’ impacts, including aiding food security. Read …

Optimizing Africa’s food systems

November 10th, 2015 / International Policy Digest, UK

In Africa, agriculture is not only a source of food and nutrition but of incomes, employing up to 64 percent of labor on the continent with women producing up to 80 percent of food. It is therefore the most accessible sector. Investments to enhance productivity in this sector will ensure …