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Closing Africa’s research gap

September 21st, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

A large gap remains in research capacity between Africa and the rest of the world in all scientific disciplines. Addressing the challenges, especially, in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector remains a a major hurdle. In Africa itself, research is mostly dominated by five nations: Egypt, …

Bringing African universities to farmers

September 21st, 2015 / Scidev.net/youtube.com

This video focuses on the work of researchers from Makerere University, Uganda, in Rakai district, an area of the country whose farmers are particularly prone to climate change-induced water vulnerability. As part of the WATERCAP project, they have helped transform local people’s lives. Through the introduction of low-tech innovations, …

Resistance to GM comes from people who have not known hunger

September 21st, 2015 / El País, Spain

“Scientists must engage more with the public. The problem with GM food is that the public is not aware that for centuries have been doing genetic modification, albeit very random way: crossing different strains or, for many years, with mutagenesis [generating mutations] crops and subsequent selection of the most …

Farmers in eastern, northern Uganda to get new greengram (mung bean) varieties

September 17th, 2015 / AllAfrica

In eastern and northern Uganda, greengram, popularly known as choroko in Ateso, has been cultivated and consumed a long time. Now, thanks to the Dryland Legume Research Programme, new varieties with such desirable characteristics as early maturation, drought tolerance and higher yields will be available to farmers towards the …

Ugandan scientists and journalists strive to find a middle ground

September 17th, 2015 / ISAAA

Scientists from Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization and Ugandan science journalists met on September 2-3, 2015, to discuss issues that have created rifts between the professions. Held in Kampala, the meeting helped attendees map out inherent differences that have resulted in miscommunication of agricultural biotechnology to the public, identify solutions, …

Swaziland’s cotton industry under threat, farmers waiting for GM cotton despite ban

September 17th, 2015 / Swazi Observer

While agriculture remains a backbone of the country’s economy, the cotton industry is threatened by two critical factors: the imminent closure of the cotton ginnery stationed at Big Bend, and the fact that genetically modified cotton, which is now preferred by farmers around the globe, is not allowed in …

Climate-smart farming boosting food security

September 16th, 2015 / The East African, Kenya

Experts recommend soil management practices such as conservation agriculture, which increases productivity based on three principles — minimal soil disturbance (reduced tillage), permanent soil cover (mulching) and crop rotation. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, conservation agriculture reduces the farming systems’ greenhouse gas emissions and enhances its …

EU, Icipe fund modern farming in East Africa

September 16th, 2015 / The East African, Kenya

The European Union and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) have unveiled a €15 million ($17.2 million) project aimed at disseminating technologies to boost food security and livelihoods in East Africa reports B4FA Fellow Isaac Khisa. Read …

Farmers embracing irrigation, seed beds and fertilisers

September 16th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Most farmers in Uganda use rudimentary methods where they do not apply the often necessary agricultural inputs such as fertilisers. However, this trend is gradually changing with a number of them embracing certain farm practices such as irrigation, seed beds and fertilisers. One such farmer is Esau Okecho, a mixed …

As drought destroys maize, Zimbabwe tries new climate-resilient staples

September 14th, 2015 / AllAfrica

In a country where maize porridge is ingrained in eating habits, Jambezi farmers are growing sorghum and millet for food, cash and to improve their resilience to harsher weather conditions that have made maize an increasingly risky crop. Read …

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