In the news...

Farmers abandon maize for drought-resistant crops

March 21st, 2017 / The Star, Kenya

As the drought continues to ravage parts of the country, farmers in Makueni have nothing to worry about since they have millet, sorghum and green grams to eat and sell.
Samuel Mutune, a father of seven, says he grew maize for many years but that the harvests were poor due to …

The sorghum plant that could tackle blindness

March 7th, 2017 / Devex

Up to half a million children around the world are going blind every year due to a lack of Vitamin A in their diets. According to the World Health Organization, Vitamin A deficiency, — which afflicts 250 million children worldwide — is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children …

Unsung Heroes – reversing neglect

November 7th, 2016 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

The third of our periodic blogs which discuss food security, with a specific focus on how plant genetic research might contribute to addressing the challenge of feeding a fast-growing global population in increasingly uncertain climatic conditions.
Achieving food security is a complex problem that goes far beyond just producing more food. …

Charcoal rot: a threat to staple food crops in South Africa

September 2nd, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Charcoal rot is caused by a fungus that invades various agricultural crops and gives them a charred appearance. The disease is becoming more widespread in South Africa – which is worrying, since it can dramatically affect crop yields which drives up prices and hits farmers’ incomes.
Charcoal rot attacks crops that …

Working to boost sorghum production

July 29th, 2016 / Ethiopian Herald

Ethiopia’s Institute National Sorghum Research Coordination Head Dr. Taye Taddesse said Ethiopia is working on sorghum development through research and providing fast maturing seeds and other technical support to farmers. Currently, 10 000 farmers in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and SNNP states are benefiting from the Institute’s support.
He said the institute …

Change agriculture funding model

June 7th, 2016 / New Vision, Kenya

A Kenyan professor has called for the overhaul in the funding structure of agriculture across Africa for it to benefit the vast majority of the population engaged in it. Prof Henry Bwisa from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology says the sector has sufficient funding but the model …

Institute releases new varieties of maize, sorghum, groundnut

May 5th, 2016 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

The Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru, Zaria in Kaduna State has released a number of new varieties of maize that might interest farmers across the country. Dr Aminu Ibrahim, Head of Extension unit of the institute, who spoke with Daily Trust at the just concluded National Agricultural show, …

Invasive weed worries sorghum farmers

April 21st, 2016 / Youtube.com

From Uganda B4FA Fellow, Tyaba Abubakar reports: The onset of the March – May rain season in most parts of the country has seen farmers sowing seeds in anticipation of fruitful harvests. But for most sorghum growers around the country, their hopes hang in the balance over a rise in …

Newly-released sorghum types offer biodiversity & crop improvement

March 25th, 2016 / Newswire

Sorghum has many benefits for farmers, consumers, and the environment. It is a drought-tolerant crop. In many areas, it needs significantly less water than rice and corn. With fresh water becoming more limited for agriculture, crops such as sorghum may become more attractive to farmers. Sorghum has also been bred …

Climate change could make growing these crops in African regions impossible

March 8th, 2016 / Climate Change News

Global warming threatens some of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important crops, growers have been warned. Key cultivating regions could become unviable in the coming decades under projected climate change scenarios, according to research published in Nature on Monday. Bananas, beans and maize are most at risk of the nine staples that …