In the news...

World Bank satisfied with Sierra Leone cassava and rice research

May 15th, 2015 / Concord Times, Sierra Leone

The World Bank Country Team leader for agriculture projects in Sierra Leone, Herdwick Tchala, has said he was impressed with work done by the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) on new breeds of rice and cassava. Read …

Coffee farmers on climate front line

May 15th, 2015 / SciDevNet, UK

An estimated 70 per cent of the world’s coffee production comes from small-scale producers in an industry with some 25 million growers. But as climate change hits, many of them could lose their livelihoods as they simply cannot move their production to higher, cooler land. Read more
AllAfrica reports …

Local initiative to manage coffee wilt disease

May 14th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

One of the longest-surviving crop diseases in Uganda is the Coffee Wilt Disease (CWD), a fungal infection that wiped out more than 12 million robusta coffee trees in central and western Uganda regions towards the end of the 20th Century. Adams Byaruhanga, a resident of Kikasa village, Bukalasa Parish in …

Ghana: System Rice intensification Project launched in the Northern Region 15

May 7th, 2015 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: The Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, SARI has introduced a System Rice Intensification project to smallholder farmers in the northern region to improve rice yield in the various rice zones in the country. The initiative is also an attempt to ensure that the country meets its …

The sweet potato naturally genetically engineered by bacteria.

May 4th, 2015 / ars technica

One of the most frequently mentioned issues with GMO foods is a vague concern about bringing genes from distantly related organisms into plants. But an international team of biologists has now found that this has occurred naturally in a major crop plant: the sweet potato. The strains of this crop …

African food demand to rise 60 per cent by 2030

May 4th, 2015 / African Farming

Demand for food in sub-Saharan Africa will rise by 60 per cent by 2030, according to the World Bank. A report by the group, entitled ‘Ending Poverty and Hunger by 2030: An Agenda for the Global Food System’ called for pre-emptive action from governments across the continent to increase agricultural …

Kenya develops drought-tolerant passion fruits

May 4th, 2015 / African Farming

Kenya has developed three new drought-resistant varieties of passion fruit, it was revealed this week. “The new varieties are drought tolerant and are suited both for processing and the fresh market. They are superior in quality,” observed Joseph Njuguna, a fruit expert at KALRO’s Thika station. Read …

Global food industry reluctant leaders of smallholder farming revolution

May 3rd, 2015 / Huffington Post, US

In recent years the global food and beverage industry has surpassed development agencies and donor governments when it comes to improving the productivity and income of smallholder farmers in developing countries. Read …

Scientists and farmers recognise need for biotech in Ghana

March 27th, 2015 / Crop Biotech Update

The President of the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen, John Awuku said that farmers, especially small holder farmers, have recognized the important role that improved seeds and fertilizers play in increasing yield and income. He noted that Ghana needs a vigorous education campaign on GMO, plant breeding …

With iCow and M-Farm, smartphones reboot African agriculture

March 17th, 2015 / Business Daily Live

Wider smartphone and internet access has allowed technology firms to reach remote African farmers with apps providing veterinary diagnoses, crop planting guidance and virtual marketplaces. “People who don’t have access to running water or electricity have access to a phone that is more powerful than computers we had a …