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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 …

You CAN manage livestock during droughts

January 31st, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Adverse dry weather conditions that have had an impact on agriculture across the country rise the possibility of food insecurity, which is likely to affect many communities.
Much as crop farmers have faced the same challenge over the last three seasons of 2016 stretching through to …

Why shortage of seed potato is an investment opportunity

January 27th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Potato production in Uganda is constrained by lack of inputs namely fertilisers, pesticides and clean seed amongst others.
Most potato producers in Kigezi region are subsistence farmers characterised by poor farming methods, which include use of poor quality inputs. For example, over 90 per cent use poor quality recycled seeds. …

Avian flu: what farmers should do

January 24th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:: This week, the ministries of agriculture and health issued an alert about an avian flu outbreak in Wakiso, Kalangala and Masaka districts. This followed reports of several migratory birds found dead on the shores of Lake Victoria in these areas.
In his statement, Agriculture minister Vincent …

Mastercard launch mobile marketplace for Africa’s agricultural sectors

January 20th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

In Nairobi, Kenya, on 17 January, Mastercard launched 2KUZE, which is Swahili for “let’s grow together.” The marketplace will enable farmers to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural goods via feature phones. The platform will bring together the benefits and security of mobile commerce and payments to famers in …

Arabica coffee genome sequenced

January 19th, 2017 / UC Davies, US

The first public genome sequence for Coffea arabica, the species responsible for more than 70 percent of global coffee production, was released today by researchers at the University of California, Davis.
Funding for the sequencing was provided by Suntory group, an international food and beverage company based in Tokyo.
Now available for …

New app to help farmers manage livestock

January 16th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

After losing all his rabbits from which he raised money that saw him through school, Ronald Katamba was inspired to seek not only a method to curb livestock theft, but also to monitor the animals and birds on farm.
It is how he came to develop an application that does exactly …

Operation Wealth Creation must involve science

January 10th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michal Ssali reports: Farmers across the country should salute the female Members of Parliament who visited the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) Namulonge as reported in the Crop Biotech Update (published December 21, 2016).
Under their umbrella body, Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), they went to Namulonge mainly …

More iron, zinc: new beans have an edge

January 6th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Earlier this year, National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) released bean varieties, which have higher levels of iron and zinc for production by Ugandan farmers.
Dr Stanley Nkalubo, head of legumes research at NaCRRI—one of Naro’s research institutes, says use of bio-fortified foods is an inexpensive method to overcome or prevent malnutrition …

Beans, quick to cook, easy to eat

January 5th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes: Beans are a widely grown crop in Uganda and a key source of protein in many diets. Though they are mostly cooked, innovative ways of preparation are being explored in research and development.
One of these is as bean flour, which can be mixed with wheat …