Category “Maize, Corn & Rice”

Kenya Moves Closer to GM Maize

Kenya is inching closer to the commercialisation of a drought-tolerant maize variety developed using the controversial genetic modification technology.

Local and international scientists estimate that the maize variety will be ready for farmers’ sampling in three years time.

The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) has harvested its confined field trials, the fifth since the experiments started in 2010, which impressed scientists.

In such experiments, confined trials are conducted for seven seasons, and then subjected to National Performance Trials for two seasons.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Kenya: New Wheat Varieties Resist Deadly Fungus, Boost Yields in Kenya

Njoro — After counting their losses for over a decade, wheat farmers in East Africa are looking forward to a brighter future now that new varieties developed by scientists have proven to be resistant to a devastating wheat disease, and are boosting yields into the bargain.

Known as Ug99, the fungal stem-rust disease thrives in warmer temperatures, and the spores can travel thousands of miles aided by wind, according to Peter Njau, a research scientist at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI).

As the name suggests, Ug99 was discovered in Uganda in the year 1999. It has since spread through Kenya to Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, and across the Red Sea to Yemen and Iran, causing havoc for farmers along the way. There are fears the disease could reach India and other major wheat-producing countries in Asia.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Zimbabwe: Grow Small Grains, Farmers Told

Farmers in drought-prone districts should grow small grain crops to enhance household food security, a farmers’ union official has said.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union second vice president Mr Berean Mukwende said it was important for farmers in semi-arid regions to grow small grains such as millet, sorghum and rapoko to improve food availability in their areas.

“Farmers in Region III must take heed of the 2013/14 rainfall forecast and grow drought-resistant crops and short season varieties,” he said.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Zambia Starts Exporting Maize

ZAMBIA has commenced the export of over 200,000 tonnes of maize from the 2.47 million tonnes the country produced in the 2012/13 farming season. The maize is being exported under the Government-to-Government agreement to Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Food Reserve Agency (FRA) executive director Chola Kafwabulula said in an interview in Ndola yesterday that the country would export 20,000 tonnes of maize to Tanzania, 35,000 tonnes to Malawi and the remainder 150,000 tonnes of the commodity to Zimbabwe.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Gambia: Hippo Rampage Hampers Rice Production in CRR

Janjangbureh — Farmers in the Central River Region are lamenting the destruction wrought on their rice fields by rampaging hippos. The hippo rampage is such that women in this part of the country work in rice fields in total fear for their lives as a result of frequent hippo attacks, thus hampering effective production.

Just on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, the women of Niani Sukuta were chased away from their rice fields by the hippos. This prompted the local farmers to march to the office of the governor in Janjangbureh to report the matter for any immediate or long-term redress.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

East Africa: Research Needed to Tackle Maize Lethal Necrosis in East Africa

Kisumu — A maize research facility designed to reduce the time it takes to research and develop varieties resistant to viral maize lethal necrosis (MLN), which has been reported in East Africa since 2011, is to be established in Naivasha, Kenya.

The facility, funded to the tune of US$1.2 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is expected to be operational by the end of September 2013.

“The facility will enable public and private sector institutions that are engaged in the development and delivery of improved maize varieties in Eastern Africa to screen their breeding materials [including inbred lines and hybrids] under reliable disease screening procedures,” Boddupalli Prasanna, an MLN researcher with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), told IRIN.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Mozambique: Irrgation Schemes Could End Import of Rice

Maputo — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Saturday expressed optimism that with major irrigation schemes such as that under construction in Xai-Xai district, in the southern province of Gaza, Mozambique will cease being a net importer of rice.

Speaking to reporters after a visit to the Lower Limpopo Irrigation Scheme, the result of a partnership with the Chinese company “China Wanbao Oil and Grain”, Guebuza said that with the current expansion of the scheme, rice imports could be cut by 100,000 tonnes in the next few years.

Currently the irrigation scheme could produce on 14,000 hectares. Less was available in the 2011/12 agricultural campaign, the latest for which AIM has figures, when 13,000 tonnes of grain was produced.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment