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Tapping into digital technology platforms to boost farming productivity in Africa

April 15th, 2019 / How we made it in Africa

Africa is a bit of an anomaly as far as agriculture is concerned. On the one hand, it has 65% of the world’s available uncultivated arable land, and it has the potential to feed the world. However, a country such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which has …

Hybrid rice seeds yielding hope

April 15th, 2019 / China Daily

Under the scorching sun, fields displaying 31 major hybrid rice varieties grown in Belt and Road countries attracted more than 700 rice experts and businesspeople on Friday to the golden paddy-themed national park in Sanya, Hainan province.

They had gathered on the tropical island in South China to attend the four-day …

Poor seeds affecting food production, say experts

April 9th, 2019 / The Star, Kenya

Director general  Eliud Kireger said the recycled seeds yield less than the newer hybrid seeds which the organisation has produced.

Research done by Karlo indicated that only 47 per cent of farmers were using the recommended seeds while fertiliser was being applied at 40 per cent of the accepted rates. Read …

Are genetically engineered crops less safe than classically-bred food?

February 20th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Crops and foods today are not what they used to look like.

Farmers and plant breeders have been modifying plant genes since the earliest human communities were formed and farming took hold in order to develop crops that better resist pests and foods with improved nutrition and taste.

Biotechnology proponents, particularly agro-biotechnology …

How to achieve high crop yields

January 28th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes:

The ideas in today’s sharing about how to achieve high crop yields are mainly drawn from the “Think Agronomy” newsletter published by the Kenyan-based Centre of Excellence for Crop Rotation. 

In a simple experiment last year it was possible to produce 11.84 tonnes of barley from one …

CRISPR-edited rice plants produce major boost in grain yield

May 29th, 2018 / Purdue Agricultural News

A team of scientists from Purdue University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has used CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology to develop a variety of rice that produces 25-31 percent more grain and would have been virtually impossible to create through traditional breeding methods.
The team, led by Jian-Kang Zhu, a distinguished professor …

Does GMO corn increase crop yields? 21 years of data confirm say ‘yes’

February 20th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The analysis of over 6,000 peer-reviewed studies covering 21 years of data found that GMO corn increased yields up to 25 percent and dramatically decreased dangerous food contaminants. The study, published in Scientific Reports, analyzed field data from 1996, when the first GMO corn was planted, through 2016 in the …

Use of CRISPR systems in plant genome editing: toward new opportunities in agriculture

November 30th, 2017 / Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, UK

Initially discovered in bacteria and archaea, CRISPR–Cas9 is an adaptive immune system found in prokaryotes. In 2012, scientists found a way to use it as a genome editing tool. In 2013, its application in plants was successfully achieved. This breakthrough has opened up many new opportunities for researchers, including the …

Scientist’s tips on better banana yields

June 20th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Dr Kenneth Akankwasa from Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL), takes us through the good agronomy practices.
• When preparing the field, farmers are expected to plant seedlings free of pests and disease.
• The site should have deep well-drained and fertile soils, preferably rich in organic matter …

Irrigation boosts banana yield by 30% in Kenya

April 4th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa

Farmers, who regularly irrigate bananas, can boot the weight of the fruit by more than 30 per cent.
More than 90 per cent of famers in Kenya- especially in Nyanza and Central regions- do not know bananas have to be irrigated like other horticultural crops for high yields. Read …