In the Media

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In the Media

Water-efficient maize boosts harvests for drought-hit Tanzanian farmers

By Kizito Makoye

MAKUTUPORA, Tanzania (AlertNet) – Balisidya Jacob has been farming for many years, but it’s the novelty and size of his new crop of maize that is making him smile.

The 56-year-old, who is sole breadwinner for an extended family of 17 children, is happy at the prospect of being able to feed them all, thanks to an experiment with drought-resistant seed.


Genetic maize seeds set for Kenyan market

By Jacob Ng'etich

23 February 2012: Genetically modified maize varieties will be available in Kenyan shops in the next two years.

Scientists were conducting field trials on the drought-resistant maize seeds before they could be released to the local market, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute officer in charge of biotechnology Simion Gichuki said on Thursday.

If all goes as planned, farmers will be able to access the seeds by 2014.


Kenya testing drought tolerant GM maize that will be royalty free to farmers

With drought frequency and severity increasing across the region, scientists warn that maize yields could drop dramatically. Yet preliminary evidence reveals that WEMA varieties could provide yields 24-35 per cent higher under moderate drought, compared to varieties available to farmers today.
"For millions of small-scale farmers, risk of crop failure from drought is a major barrier to the adoption of improved farming practices,"
 explains Dr. James Gethi, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute's national maize programme coordinator.


Region to benefit from $45M drought tolerant maize project

By Ben Omondi

NAIROBI---Three East African Community (EAC) member states – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania – are among five sub-Saharan Africa countries set to benefit from a five-year $ 49 million project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop maize varieties that can grow using less water.


Inflation Forces Kasese Farmers to Raise Prices

By Lominda Afedraru, 21 September 2011

Inflation is not only affecting at consumers but farmers as well. Farmers in Kasese district, growing various food items at Mubuku irrigation scheme and elsewhere, have been forced to increase prices of their produce by Shs200 from an already agreed price as a result of a price influx in the country.

Mr Frank Twinamatsiko, the chairperson of Basajjakweyamba Cooperative Society - Mubuku Irrigation Scheme Ltd, said farmers are unhappy about the price increases.


How researchers are taming drought in Dodoma

By JAMES MPINGA recently in Dodoma, 29th September 2011 @ 16:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 637

AT a remote research centre in Dodoma, villagers recently brought down huge cobs of corn right in the middle of September, the most unlikely place and time for any crop harvests let alone maize.


Developing water-efficient maize for Africa

By Jacob D.H. Mignouna

For many smallholder farmers in Africa, maize is life. Since its introduction onto the continent several centuries ago, maize has become a staple crop in many parts of Africa.

Today, more than 300 million Africans depend on it as their main food source providing carbohydrates, protein, iron, vitamin D and minerals. And it is also a crucial source of additional income to support farmers and their families as well.

Yet the impacts of climate change are threatening maize yields and millions of farmers across Africa.


Biotechnology wasn’t born yesterday!


On July 1, the government of Kenya announced plans to open its borders to genetically modified (GM) crops for the time. Having thus cleared her decks, Kenya is now rooting for cotton that uses the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis to fight pests (hence the name Bt Cotton).


Gates reassures support for maize, cassava projects

Studies on maize and cassava cultivation projects are set to make progress, thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledge to continue supporting them.

The support for the two projects as well as other scientific researches under the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), were made by American billionaire Mr Bill Gates, during talks at the State House with President Jakaya Kikwete on Wednesday.


Global warming 'has reduced maize and wheat yields'

Global warming has already reduced the global yields of key crops, say scientists.

Maize and wheat production have been 3.8 and 5.5 per cent lower, respectively, than they would have been without the temperature rises associated with climate change since the 1980s, according to the statistical analysis.

Rice and soya yields have dropped in some parts of the world and risen in others, so overall the warming has not changed their net global production.



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