In the news...

Combat striga with push-pull technology

February 19th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports

If you manage to visit farmers growing cereal crops in most parts of East Africa including Uganda, you will notice striga weed infestation is a huge challenge.

Striga also known as witch weed, is a coerce plant parasitic weed which infests roots of the host plant …

Sorghum: Africa’s untapped commercial agricultural potential

November 21st, 2018 / The Chronicle, Zimbabwe

Sorghum has a lot going for it. It’s climate-smart, highly nutritious and we already know how to grow it.
If we put the right amount of money and thought behind it, it could also help solve our unemployment woes.
The end of 2017 was characterised by a series of extraordinary events. One …

Ministry of Science releases 19 high yield crop varieties, 1 chicken breed

October 24th, 2018 / Vanguard, Nigeria

A total of 19 new high yield crop varieties have been released by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to enhance Nigerian agriculture. The National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) approved the release at its 26th meeting held at its secretariat, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), …

Nigerian FG commences field trials on GMO crops

October 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The Federal Government has granted permits for confined field trials on genetically modified maize, rice, cassava, sorghum and cowpea to ascertain ability to resist insect attack in the country.
Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agriculture Biotechnology (OFAB), Dr. Rose Gidado, told The Guardian that the permits were granted after in-depth …

Ethiopia releases new, perennial sorghum variety

August 2nd, 2018 / SciDev.net

Ethiopian scientists have developed a new sorghum variety that could lead to multiple yields annually.
According to the National Statistics Agency in Ethiopia, the country has almost two million hectares of sorghum fields, and harvests about four million tonnes of sorghum grains every year.
The new sorghum variety is expected to produce …

How sorghum’s drought-resistant genes could benefit other crops

July 2nd, 2018 / Agri-Pulse

University of California researchers are on the path to discovering genes that assist in drought resistance in sorghum, which could potentially be applied to other important cereal crops like corn, wheat, rice and barley in the years to come.
“We’re going to need crops that have better drought tolerance in the …

New menacing cassava pest identified in West and Central Africa

May 25th, 2018 / African Science News

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
Originating from the tropical regions of the Americas the fall armyworm (FAW) adult has a remarkable capacity for long distance migration and high female fertility. Its crop-destroying caterpillars can cause serious damage to maize but also to …

Millets and sorghum: forgotten foods for the future

April 25th, 2018 / Food Tank

Millets and sorghum are grains that are nutrient-rich, drought-tolerant crops and can support communities around the world. The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in partnership with Feed the Future’s Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) Program, is developing innovative methods to make these grains attractive again in the …

Microbes in soil help sorghum stay strong against droughts

April 23rd, 2018 / Inside Science

Scientists want to know how one of the world’s most important grain crops, sorghum, can tolerate months of harsh, dry conditions. Now, for the first time, scientists have looked at the soil near sorghum plants to learn what role microbes play in the crop’s unique ability to endure drought. Scientists hope …

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 …