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Majority of EU countries vote against 2 new GM corn varieties but approval still possible

March 29th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project

A majority of EU countries voted on Monday, March 27, against allowing two new genetically modified crops to be grown in Europe, batting the contentious decision on GM cultivation in Europe back to the EU executive. EU governments were asked to vote on the future of two grades of GM …

A step forward to making crops tolerant to severe drought

March 29th, 2017 / Wageningen University

An international consortium of researchers led by Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands has sequenced the genome of the ‘resurrection plant’ Xerophyta viscosa. Today the team publishes the DNA sequence in Nature Plants. In their paper, the team reveals a genetic ‘footprint’ of the amazing ability of this plant …

Investing in Zimbabwe’s smallholder farmers

March 28th, 2017 / AllAfrica

The FAO has launched the Livelihood and Food Security Program to increase agricultural productivity, increase incomes, improve food and nutrition security, and reduce poverty in rural Zimbabwe. The project, which commenced in 2015, will ultimately be implemented in eight districts in the country.
Read …

Uganda: Farmers adopt new technologies to grow rice

March 28th, 2017 / Daily Monitor

Rice farmers in Pallisa and Butaleja districts are celebrating after adopting a new style of growing their crop that has seen them smiling all the way to the bank. Read …

Uganda’s exports face ban due to army worm

March 28th, 2017 / Sunrise

Uganda’s agricultural exports face the possibility of being banned from other countries for fear of the spread of the invasive, highly destructive army worms that have been confirmed in most parts of the country. The Minister of Agriculture Vincent Ssempijja expressed the worry while outlining the government’s plan of …

Digital transformation in agri-business required to safeguard African food supply

March 27th, 2017 / TWeb, South Africa

African food security is under threat from a confluence of climate change, severe drought, water scarcity and a destructive fall armyworm invasion. But, says Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director, SAP South Africa, there are technology tools at hand to help solve Africa’s food security problems.
“Smart Farming solutions will become the cornerstone …

The need to increase investment in agriculture

March 27th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: Uganda targets to increase its agricultural exports to US$4 billion and to halve the labour force engaged in subsistence production from six to three million, according to the March 17 2017 edition of AGRA Harvest — a periodical publication of the Alliance for a Green …

Tackling vitamin A deficiency with biofortified sweetpotato in sub-Saharan Africa

March 27th, 2017 / Elsevier, Netherlands

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) is a rich plant-based source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. In sub-Saharan Africa, sweetpotato is known as a food security crop but most varieties grown are high dry matter white-fleshed types, lacking beta-carotene. In 1995, researchers recognized the potential of OFSP varieties to …

New research fellows to combat climate change in Africa

March 26th, 2017 / SciDev.net

A programme is building the capacity of African researchers to understand climate change impacts and develop evidence-based solutions to help policymakers tackle climate change challenges.
The Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) fellowship – an initiative by the African Academy of Sciences and Association of Commonwealth Universities – seeks …

Investment key in adapting to climate change in West Africa

March 26th, 2017 / IIASA

Climate change will likely have negative impacts on food production in West Africa, but a new study provides insights on how strategic planning by decision makers could ease or exacerbate food security challenges in the region.
Climate projections for West Africa show that crop yields and grass for livestock grazing are …