Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) is a programme specifically designed to encourage informed discussion about the potential application of biosciences and genetics for farming in Africa. Can recent advances help bring about a positive change on farms and in communities in Africa and create a vibrant, sustainable and diverse agricultural sector? A change that would also mean Africa could play a role in helping feed the world.
The aim of this project is to encourage dialogue and to promote a better understanding of the available options for improving agricultural productivity in four African countries – Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda. The project aims to work in three general areas:
- Opinions and Ambitions. Production and dissemination of a scholarly publication which synthesizes information and views from opinion leaders about the potential benefits, concerns, application and consequences of new technologies for farming in Africa.
- Communication and Dialogue – a Media Fellowship Programme. We will run a series of Professional Development Fellowships for media professionals, focusing in particular on the science of plant breeding. Journalists and editors from radio, television, newspapers and journals will be enrolled, by competitive application, in a programme that will offer technical training combined with field-visits, mentoring and support, and long-term networking opportunity among the Fellows and with the research community in their country.
- Strengthening and Enabling Implementation. Studies of how to strengthen extension services that deal with the application of the new technologies and processes. Extension agents play the crucial role of linking research institutions to the intended end users of agricultural research products and technologies – farmers.