In the news...

Project improves food security in six African nations

March 30th, 2018 / SciDev.net, UK

An initiative in six African countries has helped improve farming methods and food security.
Launched in 2012, the project funded by the government of Finland and called FoodAfrica Programme has helped improve the security and quality of food supply in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda.
During a meeting held this …

Agrilinks releases food safety hazard factsheets

March 29th, 2018 / AgriLinks

The factsheets provide a snapshot of several key foodborne disease (FBD) causing agents (chemical and biological) commonly found in developing countries. They provide a description of the agent, major food sources, impact on human health and how to manage toxicity. These are a useful tool for those looking for a …

Myths and misleading claims about fertilizers and pesticides lead to GMO fear mongering

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Why did activists trash experimental crops of genetically modified (GM) maize and oilseed rape in the 1990s in the UK? Why were their activities closely followed by a pliant media?
Not having been closely involved with plant breeding, my first reaction was to wonder what I had missed that led the …

The future of organic farming and gene editing

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

It’s become popular in recent years for some to call for a shift away from conventional farming and wholly into organic. But is this even feasible? Not when you compare the yields of both farming methods. Organic yields are usually 20-30 percent below conventional yields, with the sometimes exception of …

Support for cassava development for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

March 28th, 2018 / Cornell CALS

Cassava is vital to the food security of millions of Africans who eat some form of the root crop daily. Although cassava breeders are making progress, they still face significant challenges in developing disease-resistant varieties that also increase overall yield and respond to the needs of smallholder farmers and processors. …

Nigeria to use biotechnology to improve crops

March 27th, 2018 / Nws Agency of Nigeria

Dr Rose Gidado, the Country Coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), says Nigeria has concluded plans to use biotechnology as tool to improve agricultural produce and spur economic development.
Gidado made the disclosure on Thursday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to her, the measure will go …

Revolutionizing breeding programmes

March 27th, 2018 / Leadership, Nigeria

Cassava is one of the most important staple crops in sub-Saharan Africa, yet it stands out from other crops in many ways.
In some ways, cassava may seem an unlikely focus for a flagship project: typically considered a “poor man’s crop” and under-researched, it is the fourth most consumed staple in …

Women grow 70% of Africa’s food. But have few rights over the land they tend

March 26th, 2018 / World Economic Forum, Switzerland

I recently went to Laikipa North in Kenya and met with Naatum women’s group. The community lives on arid land that has serious land degradation issues due to climate change, on ranches owned by men in the community. Laws dictate that women cannot own land.
In 2016, the Laikipia Permaculture Centre, …

Farmers earn double from molasses

March 26th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael J Ssali writes:
Aventino Nakaana, of Manja Village, Kisekka Sub-county, in Lwengo District has been growing sugarcanes for the last 40 years for his daily income.
Before value addition, Aventino says he was earning Shs100,000 per tonne from sugarcanes. He would sell them to students and town dwellers. …

AFRICAN Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF): Hybrid seed to propel yields by 20%

March 26th, 2018 / News Day, Zimbabwe

AATF director of commercialisation, Donald Mavindidze, told journalists last week that breeding of hybrid seed was a good way to improve crop yields.
“Small scale farmers using hybrid seed can increase crop yields by 20% and we have seen that being achieved in other countries in Africa such as Kenya and …