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Researchers model ways to control deadly maize disease

August 18th, 2017 / SciDevNet

In Kenya, researchers have used mathematical modelling to develop how to combat two co-infecting viruses causing maize lethal necrosis – which can cause up to 90 per cent loss of yield. According to researchers who conducted the new study, because maize is a staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa, the spread …

Ethiopia: A new manual shares best environmentally friendly commercial coffee-production

August 18th, 2017 / AllAfrica

Yilma Yemane’s recently published book ‘A Guide to Coffee Production in Ethiopia’ was written to serve as a manual for various professionals within the coffee industry, and covers production and processing technologies for coffee. Yemane decided to author the book to share his four-decade long experience in the coffee industry …

Challenging evolution: How GMOs can influence genetic diversity

August 18th, 2017 / Harvard University

It is assumed that genetically engineered modifications may affect the genetic diversity of a population through crossbreeding or uncontrolled growth; therefore, many researchers are investigating whether this is true and how it might be prevented. Read …

Enhancing powdery mildew resistance in wheat

August 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) suffers significant yield losses due to powdery mildew, a major fungal disease caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt). The enhanced disease resistance1 (EDR1) gene plays a negative role in the defense response against powdery mildew in Arabidopsis thaliana, making EDR1 a target for improving …

Tanzania: Ambitious new plan aims to double production of coffee

August 17th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Coffee production in Tanzania could more than double in four years’ time if an action programme to increase the competitiveness of small holder farmers is successfully implemented.
The ten-year programme launched in 2011/2012 aims to increase coffee production and quality from 50,000 tonnes a year by then to 150,000 tonnes in …

Nigeria: The National Directorate of Employment trains 400 youths on agricultural skills

August 17th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in collaboration with C. Hassan Consultancy Ltd. has commenced a refresher training of 400 unemployed youths in Kaduna state on agricultural skills for gainful employment.
The training, according to the Director-General of NDE, Dr. Nasiru M. Ladan is to impart on the trainees, skills such …

Plants ‘hijacked’ to make polio vaccine

August 16th, 2017 / BBC

Plants have been “hijacked” to make polio vaccine in a breakthrough with the potential to transform vaccine manufacture, say scientists. The vaccine is an “authentic mimic” of poliovirus called a virus-like particle. As well as helping eliminate polio, the scientists believe their approach could help the world react to unexpected …

ANALYSIS The costs of GMO delays in Uganda revealed

August 16th, 2017 / Sunrise

Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have concluded that over 5,500 Ugandans could have died because of food shortages arising from delays to enact the Biosafety and Biotechnology law. The study, published July 31 in PLOS One journal, used modelling to calculate how delays in the introduction of three …

Banana wilt, GMOs and Food Evolution: What’s really happening to banana farmers in Uganda?

August 15th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project

Food Evolution captured real problems experienced by real people who need real solutions. The global forces denying millions of smallholder farmers access to improved varieties may be ignorant to the fact that African smallholder farmers grow their own food crops and have no capacity to import food from other continents …

How biotechnology can help Nigeria reduce its agricultural import bill

August 15th, 2017 / Nigerian Tribune

Opinion: The Nigerian government needs to expedite actions towards the adoption of biotechnology in order to grow the agricultural sector. Read …