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Using soilless media to grow vegetables

December 22nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Even with the healthiest soils, it is still possible to find pests and other pathogens that attack crops and likely to lower your crop yields.
Soilless growing media have been proven to be sterile and free from pathogens that are soil-borne and applicable for urban farmers who grow plants on rooftops …

When you want to keep a dairy cow …

December 19th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali advises:
Many smallholder farmers tend to go into dairy cow keeping by blind trust.
They are told about the economic benefits of owning a dairy cow and they go for one without taking sufficient time to inquire about the suitability and qualities of the cow they want …

Can a GM banana solve Uganda’s hunger crisis?

December 13th, 2017 / Guardian, UK

After an afternoon drizzle, Ephraim Muhereza carefully scouts his three-acre banana plantation in Gayaza, Wakiso district, plucking male buds from trees. This will stop his plants from catching the notorious banana bacterial wilt, which has destroyed many farms in Uganda.
“We have been told that to reduce the spread of the …

Technology much needed on farming

December 11th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
The passing of the Biotechnology and Bio-safety Bill by parliament about two months ago has cast a chill over some people and according to media reports; there is an attempt to institute legal proceedings to block GMO technology adoption in Uganda.
Yet this is the technology …

GMO technology in Uganda

December 8th, 2017 / The Independent, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
The recent article in The Independent magazine (October 31 2017) titled “Tears and Cheers over New GMO Law” left me, as a farmer and a science journalist, disappointed. It carried negative and misleading sentiments about agricultural biotechnology.
Uganda’s decision to adapt Agricultural GMO technology and the passing …

Scientist’s advise farmers to boost soils using organic fertilizer

November 29th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
There is increasing use of processed fertilizer by large scale farmers in the country with the aim of increasing their farm productivity.
Uganda’s smallholder agricultural sector continues to register one of the lowest fertilizer applications in sub-Saharan Africa.
The statistics indicates that Ugandan farmers use 1 to 1.5 …

Mulching is key

November 27th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow and farmer Michael Ssali writes:
The practice of covering the soil with organic matter in a garden is referred to as mulching.
The materials used to cover the soil such as dry grass, banana leaves, maize stalk, eucalyptus tree branches, coffee husks or any other crop left-over material are …

Nsubuga’s disease-free Irish potatoes

November 7th, 2017 / Daily Monitor

For years now, crop expert Erostus Nsubuga has etched out a name in breeding banana suckers using the tissue culture technology at his AGT Company in Buloba. While excelling at bananas, Nsubuga recently started the growth of Irish potatoes using the same technology and the proliferating demand has made Nsubuga …

Food production for healthy living

October 30th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Our approach to agriculture has so far tended to concentrate on income generation and poverty reduction without paying due attention to the farmers’ nutritional needs.
They should be educated about the different nutritional values of the crops they grow and the advantages of eating healthy diets. …

Danforth researchers use CRISPR to gene-edit cassava

October 26th, 2017 / St Louis Public Radio, US

To prove that a new-gene editing technology could be used to alter the cassava plant, scientists in the St. Louis suburbs zeroed in on a gene used to process chlorophyll. Before long, they had petri dishes full of seedlings that were white as chalk.
The plan is to use CRISPR — …