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Shocking encounter with fall army worms

March 21st, 2017 / The Sunrise, Uganda

About a week ago, my wife Esther brought my attention to an attack in our little maize garden. She urged me to spray the tender plants having detected damage on the leaves on the crop that is just three weeks now.
I hesitantly accepted to spray against the feeling that it …

Farmers in panic as strange caterpillars ravage maize gardens

March 21st, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

The onset of the planting season for farmers growing the maize crop in Luweero District is at crossroads with many farmers already counting losses after losing the crop to strange pesticide resistant caterpillars.
Luweero District Agriculture Officer, Ms Sarah Namubiru describes the pesticide resistant caterpillars as strange and rare because of …

Crops you harvest in less than six months

March 17th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Currently, due to climate change as a result of deforestation, reclamation of swamps, and industrialisation, among other factors, traditional farmers who depended on the traditional crop growing calendar of March are no longer to tell seasons due to unpredictable dry spells, since there was no mitigation.
This, in part, implies that …

Technologies that help farmers respond to climate change

March 13th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Agriculture in many parts of Africa, Uganda inclusive, is mainly rain-fed yet farmers usually experience severe periods of drought where they would require water to irrigate their farms during times of such weather.
During extreme dry seasons, many farmers are forced to abandon farming with very …

Improved cassava varieties makes a fortune for Akutu

March 10th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Amidst the looming food crisis across the country, Augustine Akutu’s home is akin to an oasis overflowing with cassava tubers. When you visit his home in Amuria District you will mistake it for a rich cassava island. His farmyard is green with improved cassava varieties.
The surrounding farms are yet to …

Farm thefts: a big hindrance to agricultural development

March 7th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, reports: Farm thefts have become a major challenge and it is easy to understand why. The rapid population growth means more mouths to feed. The population increase has resulted in land fragmentation and smaller, overworked, and unproductive land plots. Unpredictable climatic conditions have further made it …

Uganda media houses call for increased public sensitisation on GMOS

March 1st, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Media houses in Uganda have called for a wider sensitization of the public on genetically modified organisms. This was during a series of workshops themed ‘Engaging the Media on the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012 held in Kampala on February 14 and 23, 2017. The workshops were jointly organized …

Genetics to guide coffee breeding

February 13th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Genetic modification (GM) is the future of coffee and the scientists have made their findings public. “With this information in hand, producers can begin to more accurately breed coffee varieties, as opposed to traditional selective breeding where you see a trait you like and breed …

New technique kills two maize pests

February 10th, 2017 / Sunrise, Uganda

An experiment meant to evaluate the effectiveness of a resistant maize variety against the devastating maize stem borer developed by Ugandan researchers has proved successful in controlling yet another hazardous pest, the leaf eater that had proved a menace to farmers across the Uganda especially during the dry season.
According to …

A coffee renaissance is brewing, and thanks to genetics

February 1st, 2017 / Wired, US

Genes are the future of coffee. Not nitro cold brewing or beans pooped out by civets, but genes. And coffee’s gene-fueled future just drew nearer, now that scientists have sequenced the genome of the Coffea arabica coffee plant—the species that makes up the vast majority of global production—and made the …