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The magic of hybrid seeds

December 18th, 2015 / Daily Nation, Kenya

One of the most important questions that often comes to farmers’ minds is, “what seeds should I plant?” Now, before rushing to the nearest agrovet or seed stockist, arm yourself with this guide that will enable you select the best seeds that fit the location of your farm. Read …

G-33 demands outcome on special safeguards

December 15th, 2015 / Livemint.com

With an agreement on a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) that they want unlikely at the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s 10th ministerial conference starting on Tuesday in Nairobi, a group of developing countries including India has demanded an outcome on special safeguards (SSGs), amending a provision that already exists in Article …

Africa closer to a cure for banana disease

December 15th, 2015 / Inter Press Service

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) headquartered in Ibadan, Nigeria in partnership with the National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda are close to a breakthrough after more than eight years researching solutions to BXW.In one Ugandan dialect, ‘kiwotoka’, describes the steamed look of banana plants affected …

Irish potatoes help combat effect of climate change in Ethiopia

December 14th, 2015 / Irish Times, Ireland

One success story among many that we have had here is the introduction of the humble Irish potato to drought-stricken and hungry areas of the highlands of Ethiopia. In an attempt to find a substitute for local varieties, we introduced the Belete variety which produced extremely high yields of 56.6 …

Tanzania gives farmers U.S.$36 million for inputs and improved seeds

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Tanzania has disbursed 2,999,778 vouchers for agriculture inputs worth $36.4 million (Tsh78.1 billion) to 999,993 farmers on the mainland so as to prepare for the new agricultural season 2015/2016. “The input subsidy vouchers have benefited many farmers of maize and rice crops by increasing production of these crops and …

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 …