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Tanzania, UN ink $2 million pacts to fight armyworms

September 30th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has entered into two agreements worth $2million with the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries to boost surveillance of Fall Armyworm (FAW) across the country.
A fall armyworm outbreak has been causing considerable crop damage in some countries including in Tanzania. The pest …

South Africa: farmers speak out against new plant bills

September 30th, 2017 / AllArica.com

“Seed is something that is sacred. Seed is life. In our tradition, it is about culture, identity; it’s about sharing … If everything is for sale, when will it stop?” asked Rifqah Tifloen at a public hearing on the Plant Improvement Bill and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill in Port …

New app diagnoses crop diseases in the field and alerts rural farmers

September 30th, 2017 / CGIAR

The team behind a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose crop diseases in the field has won a $US100,000 award to help expand their project to help millions of small-scale farmers across Africa.
Cassava brown streak disease is spreading westward across the African continent, and together with …

Increasing food security by decreasing postharvest losses

September 28th, 2017 / World-grain.com

A recent report from the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that the world is making significant progress in addressing the issue of hunger. Food security is expected to improve through 2027, driven by forecasts for low food prices and rising incomes for 76 …

Africa’s city farmers can feed millions as they earn an income

September 28th, 2017 / Business Day, South Africa

All across Africa, populations are growing rapidly. Many people are vulnerable to malnutrition, limited healthcare and high rates of unemployment. As a result, people are streaming towards cities hoping to find jobs and earn an income.
According to the UN, in 2013, sub-Saharan Africa’s annual urban growth rate was 3.6% — …

African agricultural land becoming more attractive to investors

September 28th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza

In recent years investors have started discovering the potential of agriculture more and more. Especially Africa is interesting to these investors. That’s partly due to the enormous amount of agricultural land available, according to the FAO sub-saharan Africa has 90 million hectares of arable land available. Only 25 percent of …

Kenya to start national performance trials for Bt cotton

September 27th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

The National Biosafety Authority of Kenya has approved the field trial of Bt cotton (MON 15985 event). In The Kenya Gazette issued on September 8, 2017, published by the Authority of the Republic of Kenya, the Gazette Notice No. 8846 lists the approved GM applications in 2016-2017, including transgenic bananas …

Millet genome sequenced by scientists from 10 countries

September 27th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

An international consortium of researchers from France, India, and China has published the genome sequence of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), a cereal that belongs to the family of small-seeded grasses, grown in arid areas in the Sahel region in Africa and in Asia, especially in India.
Coordinated by the Institut de …

Initiative to build African science journalism capacity

September 27th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A two-year programme has been launched to build capacity of science journalists and improve science coverage in Africa.
It was launched this month (1 September) with the aim of recognising the important role of science journalism in promoting Africa’s socioeconomic development.
The project is being funded by the African Academy of Sciences …

Kenya approves field trials for disease-resistant GMO bananas

September 26th, 2017 / Genetic literacy Project, US

The National Biosafety Authority has approved field tests for genetically modified bananas, moving the country closer to accepting growing and consumption of GMO foods.
The authority…says the approval for controlled field tests was granted on November 7 last year, paving the way for the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation to …