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African hunger policy silent on climate risks

June 30th, 2016 / SciDev.net

A deal aimed to double agricultural production and end hunger in Africa has underestimated the impact climate change will have on the continent’s food production, a report has found. The African Union’s Malabo Declaration, adopted in 2014, fails to push for investments in Africa’s scientific capacity to combat climate threats, …

2016 World Food Prize goes to scientists who developed biofortified sweet potato

June 30th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A handful of scientists, including Maria Andrade of Mozambique and Robert Mwanga of Uganda, have spent the last 15 years convincing Africans to swap white sweet potatoes for . . . orange sweet potatoes. . . .Those scientists are receiving the world’s most prestigious prize for agricultural research, the World …

Growing hybrid banana revived my business

June 30th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

I have been a farmer for 25 years and it is from this that I have gained experience to diversify to other farming enterprises. But when I realised that I could not continue with the local banana varieties, I resorted to the hybrid one—M9, which is resistant to pests, diseases …

107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs

June 30th, 2016 / Washington Post, US

More than 100 Nobel laureates have signed a letter urging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The letter asks Greenpeace to cease its efforts to block introduction of a genetically engineered strain of rice that supporters say could reduce Vitamin-A deficiencies causing blindness and death in …

How science can genetically strengthen endangered plants and agriculture

June 29th, 2016 / Bizcommunity, South Africa

Plant biotechnology is increasingly being used to complement traditional screening and breeding practices. Plants can be grown in test tubes under controlled laboratory conditions. Advances in biochemistry and genetics have also ushered in an understanding of the factors that influence plant growth. Together these developments have created the opportunity to …

This is Rotimi Williams, the 35-year-old entrepreneur who owns Nigeria’s 2nd largest rice farm

June 29th, 2016 / Bella Naija, Nigeria

“I had the opportunity to travel around a few African countries. These trips exposed me to countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and Ghana. A common thread amongst the aforementioned nations is agriculture. Agriculture is at the very core of these countries and this got me thinking.” Read …

Uncertain trade, less progressive aid and a new colonial-minded PM? What Brexit means for Africa

June 29th, 2016 / African Arguments

Chaos has been unleashed and we all will be poorer because of Brexit, including in Africa. Read …

Bananas genetically modified not to rot

June 29th, 2016 / Scientific American, US

Israeli scientists find the specific gene to block the ageing process in bananas, allowing them to stay fresh for longer. Watch …

How Africa can empower more women to become leaders in science

June 29th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Several African countries are creating an environment that allows women to pursue their passion for scientific research and development. These initiatives offer valuable insights into how more women can be drawn into science and work their way up the ladder to become leaders in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. This …

“Amazing protein diversity” is discovered in the maize plant

June 29th, 2016 / Phys.org

The genome of the corn plant – or maize, as it’s called almost everywhere except the US – “is a lot more exciting” than scientists have previously believed. So says the lead scientist in a new effort to analyze and annotate the depth of the plant’s genetic resources. Read …