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3 key ingredients to achieve food security in Africa

February 28th, 2017 / Thompson Reuters

African farmers face one of the greatest balancing acts of the 21st century – feeding a rapidly expanding population without causing irreparable damage to the environment they rely on. It’s a monumental ask.
A meeting, organised by Farm Africa and the UK National Farmers’ Union (NFU), explored how the global agricultural …

Fall armyworm threatens livelihoods in Africa

February 28th, 2017 / Southern Times, Zimbabwe

African plant and animal disease experts held a crisis meeting in Harare last week on the spiraling fall armyworm outbreak which is destroying maize crops and posing a major threat to food security and agricultural trade in east, central and southern Africa.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation together with the …

Operation Phakisa to transform agricultural sector

February 28th, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

The government unveilled the Operation Phakisa segment that focuses on agriculture, land reform, and rural development. This segment is meant to enhance and transform the agricultural sector while accelerating land reform.
The programme will review existing producer support models and develop finance models aimed at fast-tracking land reform, given the …

Gene catalogues aim to help crops survive climate change

February 27th, 2017 / Scientific American

As farmers struggle with a shifting climate, a group of scientists are drilling down to the heart of the matter: crop genetics.
Climate change poses a variety of risks to agricultural produce, including starving crops of water and preventing them from growing in traditional regions. Recent research suggests America’s Corn Belt …

The new face of farming: youth making agribusiness ‘cool’!

February 27th, 2017 / African Renewal, UN

Run a quick Google search on African women making it in business, and you will rarely find a young woman engaged in rural farming. But Mavis Nduchwa has challenged norms by founding and successfully managing a commercial animal feed farm in Botswana.
Thirty-three-year-old Ms. Nduchwa, who was born on a …

Kenyan lawmakers back commercialization of GMO cotton

February 27th, 2017 / News Ghana

Kenyan crop researchers are free to start commercial growing of Genetically Modified (GMO) cotton, the country’s lawmakers said last Tuesday. Noor Mohammed, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives, however cautioned Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) to ensure that the by-products do not get to the …

How European-based NGOs block crop biotechnology adoption In Africa

February 27th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Margaret Karembu, Director of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, writes: “I grew up in rural Africa, in Central Kenya, in a small village deep down the slopes of Mt Kenya called Gaikundo. For most parts of the year, it was a struggle putting food on the table …

Nigeria: farmers can whether to embrace GMOs

February 24th, 2017 / WorldStage News, Nigeria

The Director General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Lucy Ogbadu has said that the adoption of Genetically Modified Organisms seeds by farmers in Nigeria is by choice, not under compulsion.
Speaking Wednesday during a training on GMO detection for staffs of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) at NABDA headquarters …

UN – 20 million people on brink of famine

February 24th, 2017 /

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday that 20 million people in four countries face famine unless the international community steps in to prevent it.
“The situation is dire,” Guterres told reporters. “Millions of people are barely surviving in the space between malnutrition and death, vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks, forced …

EU: no patents on conventional plant breeding

February 24th, 2017 /

Plant breeders must have free access to biological material in order to be able to breed new crop species. Patent law thus does not apply to conventional plant breeding. This was unanimously confirmed by the European Member States at the Competitiveness Council in Brussels. The Member States indicated that it …