In the news...

Biotech crops benefiting small farmers the most

May 31st, 2015 / Farm Futures, US

Farmers in developing countries have the most to gain from using GMO crops, according to an annual report from PG Economics which documents gains in yield and producer income, as well as reductions in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions, due to adoption of GMO crops globally. Read …

A time for Africa – smallholder farmers will be key

May 30th, 2015 / Zimbabwe Independent

Smallholder farmers will be key to African efforts not only to feed itself, but also to become a major food supplier for the rest of the world. Africa’s agricultural potential is clear. Productivity can also be boosted through the use better farming methods, fertiliser and irrigation. Read …

Rediscovering indigenous vegetables

May 28th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: African traditional vegetables were a big part of people’s diet and culture until modern vegetables like cabbage and carrots were introduced. In the past few years, however, traditional vegetables have slowly been regaining popularity. Read …

Zambia encouraged to commercialize traditional foods like cassava and millet

May 19th, 2015 / Times of Zambia

The Zambian government has called for commercialisation of traditional food in the country to cope with the current demand on the local and international markets. Agriculture and Livestock Deputy Minister Greyford Monde said there was need to promote traditional products. Read …

Uganda: App cuts time and cost of connecting farmers

May 19th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

A Ugandan developer is spearheading the adoption of technology in agribusiness with the development of an app that can be accessed and used while offline to ease communication between producers and other market players thus ideal for most rural areas without power or internet connection. Read …

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 …