In the news...

New biotech crop-breeding technologies struggle for traction across much of Africa

December 19th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Around the world, scientists using biotechnology advances to breed new crops are bound by an array of guidelines and regulations enacted by the nations in which they operate. Many of these countries have built these legal frameworks based, at least partly, on guidance from the Convention …

Preparing Africa for ravages of climate change ‘cannot be an afterthought’ – COP24

December 18th, 2018 / Independent, Uganda

Africa is at a “tipping point” as global warming increases, and urgent action needs to be taken across the continent now, to mitigate risks and safeguard a decade of social and economic gains, according to a new report launched by the United Nations Development Agency (UNDP) at the COP24 climate …

The land, agriculture and forestry nexus at the heart of African sustainability

December 18th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

How Africa manages its land, agriculture and forestry is of critical importance to the health of its people, its economy and the world’s climate.
Not only is Africa the continent with the greatest potential to increase productivity; it also has the highest percentage of rainfed agriculture and therefore among the most …

Smallholders’ global food production underestimated

December 18th, 2018 / SciDev,net

The proportion of smallholder farms globally may be much larger than previously thought, suggesting that their current contribution to global food production could be underestimated, a crowdsourcing study reveals.
According to previous studies, smallholder farms — agricultural fields less than around two hectors in size — make up between 12 and …

Significant progress in pearl millet pre-breeding to develop drought- and blast-resistant varieties

December 17th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Efforts to develop pearl millet with improved resistance to drought and blast disease recently got a major boost. The identification of promising introgression lines after multi-location trials, will help accelerate development of new varieties and increase pearl millet production and productivity.
Pearl millet is an important source of nutrition for millions …

From mangoes to maize, climate change brings new hunger threats

December 14th, 2018 / AllAfrica

In northern Ghana, where climate change is bringing an ever-shorter rainy season, struggling farmers are looking for more land they can plant to get enough of a harvest to feed their families.
That’s bad news for the region’s women, who cannot own land of their own but instead farm on plots …

In Africa, tech-savvy entrepreneurs sow seeds of a farming revolution

December 13th, 2018 / UN Environment, Kenya

From invaluable farming advice shared via text message to livestock vaccines delivered when and where they are needed thanks to a mobile phone service, agri-tech and precision farming are changing the face of agriculture across Africa.
This transformation is an urgent imperative. With global warming threatening harvests, and the world’s population …

Galvanizing the momentum for community actions against the Fall Armyworm

December 11th, 2018 / reliefweb

Recognizing the enormity of the challenge the Fall Armyworm poses on smallholder farmers, government representatives and partners stressed the need to bolster a novel community-based approach being promoted in Eastern Africa to assist farmers and development agents at the frontline to identify and manage the spread of the pest.
In a …

Nigeria ready to adopt biotechnology in cowpea production – official

December 11th, 2018 / The Eagle, Nigeria

Rose Gidado, the Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa says Nigeria is ready to adopt bio-technology in boosting production of cowpea.
Gidado made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.
Bio-technology is a term adopted by international convention to refer to …

Expectations from the genetic Bill

December 11th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes
Last week Parliament passed the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill 2018 after a long struggle.
Since 2008 when Uganda got the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy there has been a need to get a law to guide the implementation of that policy.
Finally the law is available and, …