Agriculture articles

Two decades on, Dr Stephen Mugo exits maize research

After long and distinguished service as a maize breeder and senior manager at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Stephen Mugo has retired from the organization. A Principal Scientist and Maize Breeder at CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program, Mugo also served as CIMMYT’s Country Representative for Kenya and CIMMYT’s Regional Representative for Africa. He

Battling devastating viral diseases, also in plants

When the maize lethal necrosis (MLN) outbreak happened in Kenya in 2011, scientists knew they needed to act fast. This viral disease, new to Kenya, was decimating maize fields. Within a few years, the viral disease spread rapidly in eastern Africa, through both insect vectors and contaminated seeds. If the virus were to spread into

Why a variety’s taste matters: looking beyond just yield and stress tolerance

Joshua Masinde The pursuit for higher and more stable yields, alongside better stress tolerance, has dominated maize breeding in Africa for a long time. Such attributes have been, and still are, essential in safeguarding the food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. However, other essential traits have not been the main priority of breeding strategies:

Enugu: Extension workers trained on improved agronomic practices, gender and weed control

Following the meeting with commissioners of agriculture last year, the Enugu state government has demonstrated its commitment to investing in weed control by organizing the first-ever training for extension workers on weed management in cassava and maize farming systems in the state.   The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) through the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI)

AKILIMO prediction expands in Tanzania, Nigeria

Scientists are making progress to expand the prediction coverage of AKILIMO to 5 regions in Tanzania and nine states in Nigeria. Once completed, farmers in the regions will have access to site-specific recommendations on agronomic practices in cassava farming systems. Developed by the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Online agricultural platform opens to farmer groups, cooperatives

Selina Wamucii, the platform that helps businesses from anywhere in the world to buy and import food and agricultural produce from any African country has announced that it is opening up to organized farmers groups and cooperatives to sell or export directly to markets worldwide. “Selina Wamucii now welcomes farmer groups, associations, processors and cooperatives

Spraying locusts before they can fly key for effective control

By Joshua Masinde East African countries are battling the worst desert locust invasion in decades. The locusts are devouring crops and pasture leaving in their wake a region that is staring at a potential food crisis. The swarms have swept across Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with some of

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