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Quality seed, key in achieving agricultural productivity

October 19th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Kenya’s ambition to become a newly industrialized middle-income country is enshrined in the government’s national long-term development policy, Vision 2030.
The delivery of this target is driven by a series of medium-term plans. But most importantly, the ‘Big Four Agenda’, which seeks to attain positive agricultural transformation by increasing maize …

Renewable energy and food security trends in Africa

October 19th, 2018 / BizNis Africa

The case for investing in renewables to promote food security
Renewable energy, especially solar power, can make a significant contribution to improving people’s general quality of life; their access to water, technology and information; education; food preparation options; and employment.
Opportunities for investment in these technologies are abundant and promising. Investing in …

Genetic markers identify the sex of yams and accelerate breeding

October 19th, 2018 / CGIAR: Roots, Tubers and Bananas

Researchers have identified the genetic markers that distinguish the sex of yam plants, saving time and resources for future breeding efforts.
White Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is native to West Africa, where it has been a food security crop for centuries. As Africa is rapidly urbanizing, yams are now being grown …

Cameroon: adoption of genetically modified crops imminent

October 18th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The successful introduction of genetically modified cotton in the northern regions would pave the way for trials on other cereals nationwide as a measure to curb food insecurity.
The progressive introduction of Genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Cameroon that started since 2012 has been smooth, Dr. David Akuroh Mbah, Chief Research …

How the science of biofortification grew from an idea to a food revolution

October 18th, 2018 / CGIAR

A major global success in nutrition in recent decades started with a simple idea from young CGIAR researchers back in the 1990s: What if we could breed vitamins and minerals into the staple crops that people consume daily?
The idea was biofortification, and the lead researcher was Dr. Howarth Bouis – …

Great expectations from Ethiopia’s wheat initiative

October 18th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Ethiopia provides a clear example of agricultural underperformance, as the country’s wheat production has consistently lagged other African nations. In 2012, Ethiopia’s wheat yields were 29 percent below neighboring Kenya, 13 percent below the African average, and 32 percent below the global average.
To help address these shortcomings, Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation …

First ever gene-edited wheat that produces high fibre flour could hit the market by 2020

October 17th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

The biotech firm Calyxt has completed the inaugural harvest of its high-fibre wheat product, the world’s first gene-edited, consumer-focused wheat product. The high-fibre wheat product is already the seventh Calyxt product that has been deemed non-regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ….
“The completion of these field trials for …

How to feed 10 billion people without destabilising the planet

October 17th, 2018 / European Scientist

A new study published on 10 October in the journal Nature has found that sustainably feeding the world population, estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050, is achievable but only by adopting healthy and more plant-based diets, cutting food loss and waste in half, and improving farming practices and …

Uganda takes major strides in biotech capacity development

October 17th, 2018 / Sunrise

B4FA Fellow Hero Lutaaya reports on a move seen as a major step to help the country launch itself into the bio-economy.
Uganda has taken major steps forward in building her biotechnology and biosafety capacity especially over the past ten years in major areas such as human capital development, infrastructure as …

Wild cousins of finger millet show promise of parasite resistance

October 16th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Finger millet can be grown at altitudes ranging from sea level to over 2000 metres above sea level, can withstand drought, and has high levels of essential amino acids and micronutrients.
Dr Chrispus Oduori kneels amidst a sea of colorful plastic buckets in a screenhouse in Western Kenya and shifts some …