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Agric agencies need more resources to fight Armyworm – Scientists

August 29th, 2017 / Joy Online, South Africa

The government has been urged to better resource agencies under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) if it is serious about avoiding another widespread destruction by the Fall Armyworm.
Dr. Audrey Vanderpuye of the School of Agriculture at the University of Cape Coast says the Plant Protection and Regulatory …

Growing coffee as economic patriotism

August 29th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) is a new magazine that made its first street appearance only this August. Your columnist’s first impression of BUBU is that it is out to persuade Ugandans to engage in practical patriotism by prioritising Ugandan goods and enterprises that promote national economic development.
It has …

Delay in using GM crops making Africa lose benefits

August 29th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

The delay in approving the use of genetically modified (GM) crops is contributing to malnutrition and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, a study says.
Many African governments are grappling with opponents and proponents of GM crops, thus facilitating a delay in adoption, especially when uncertainty about GM crops are announced shortly before …

Enhancing commercial cassava production

August 29th, 2017 / The Nation, Nigeria

Over 70 per cent of small-holder farmers are engaged in cassava production. A non-governmental organisation, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), is striving to ensure that commercial cassava farming is enhanced with mechanisation.
One of the goals of the project is to reduce rural poverty by using cassava value-chain to generate …

Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

August 29th, 2017 / Daily News, Tanzania

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties.
The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert.
Mostly grown by Tanzanian farmers, the varieties …

Seeds, not diamonds, will make Africa great

August 29th, 2017 / News Day, Zimbabwe

According to the US Geological Survey 2016, Sub- Saharan Africa produces 77% of the world’s platinum metals; 60% of its cobalt (used for batteries and metal alloys); 46% of its natural industrial diamonds; and an abundance of gold, uranium, oil and gas. Tragically, this immense mineral richness has not benefited …

Africa should harmonise agro-policies

August 24th, 2017 / Daily Mail, Zambia

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says African countries need to develop harmonised regional agricultural policies that promote investment in key resilient infrastructure to boost regional trade in agro-products.
The policies should also aim to mitigate climatic challenges.
COMESA climate change advisor Mclay Kanyangarara said strengthened regional integration measures …

Can epigenetics change the way we breed crops for drought and climate change?

August 24th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Crops that can withstand the ravages of climate change or resist killer diseases? Many already have been developed — including varieties of bananas, cassava, wheat and oranges — but they languish on laboratory shelves as their creators navigate the complex, and sometimes contradictory, regulations developed over the years to deal …

Viewpoint: Farmers not trapped into annually buying patented GMO seeds

August 24th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

There is one myth that often gets used as a criticism against genetic engineered crops. This myth usually takes the form of “I’m not anti-GMO, but farmers always used to save seeds, and the GMO companies have made it so that nobody can do that, and thus everyone is forced …

African women want greater land ownership rights

August 23rd, 2017 / News24.com

Influential women from across Africa converged for a conference in Pretoria last week, as they called for greater land ownership rights.
The conference, hosted by the Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign in association with the Urban CSO Cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) of UN-Habitat, focused on …