In the news...

Crop protection: globally, farmers lose 30-40 percent of their crops due to pests and diseases

July 26th, 2019 / Farmers Review Africa

Globally, farmers lose 30-40 percent of their crops due to pests and diseases, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

To produce a good yield of a high quality, producers must protect their crop against insects, diseases and weeds. Small grain diseases affect production by reducing the yield and impairing the …

How Africa’s science academies can help drive sustainable development

July 26th, 2019 / MENA FM

Key recommendations:

policymakers and science academies must work openly and inclusively together to ensure that evidence informs policy formulation, implementation and review;more opportunities should be created to bring scientists and policymakers together. This could happen through, for instance, fellowships or secondments;programmes that engage the African science diaspora and develop science policy …

Scientists work to solve phosphate shortage – the dwindling resource required to grow food

July 24th, 2019 / The Conversation, UK

By 2030, the world’s population is projected to be about 8.5 billion people. Global food security is a major concern for governments – zero hunger is the second most important of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

However, there is a severe conflict between sustainable food production and the use of nonrenewable resources …

CRISPR conundrum: Strict European court ruling leaves food-testing labs without a plan

July 24th, 2019 / Nature, UK

A landmark European court ruling that made gene-edited crops subject to the same stringent regulations as other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has created a conundrum for food-testing laboratories across Europe.

The ruling that the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) delivered on 25 July 2018 requires these scattered laboratories — which …

Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) named as Africa’s best Innovation Hub

July 24th, 2019 / The African Exponent

The Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) has been named by UNESCO – UNEVO as Africa’s top innovation hubs and one of the world’s 10 innovative technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.

The SIT which was founded in 2015 seeks to be a premier professional centre providing high quality technical …

African media urged to consider ‘national interest’ in reporting on GMOs

July 23rd, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Journalists and scientists are urging African media to consider the “national interest” when reporting on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to help guide the continent’s debate on the technology.

Affail Monney, president of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said it is not enough for the media to be conveyer belts of anti- and pro-GMO …

Rising CO2, climate change projected to reduce availability of nutrients worldwide

July 23rd, 2019 / Science Daily

One of the biggest challenges to reducing hunger and undernutrition around the world is to produce foods that provide not only enough calories but also make enough necessary nutrients widely available. New research finds that, over the next 30 years, climate change and increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) could significantly reduce …

How can CRISPR technology improve plant breeding?

July 23rd, 2019 / European Scientist

A new comprehensive review paper published last week on 15 July in Nature plants explores how scientists can use CRISPR to enhance traditional plant breeding techniques with the goal of ensuring global food security (1). Gene-editing technologies like CRISPR will be particularly important “in the context of global climate change as well as in …

New genome editing technology for plant breeding

July 22nd, 2019 / Phys.org

Researchers have developed a new genome editing technology for rice, combining adenine-to-guanine single-base editing technology and Cas9 with an extended targeting scope. They report that it is possible to efficiently introduce base substitution mutations in rice genes and plan to expand the research to citrus fruit breeding. Read more …

Let Africans decide what is best for Africa!

July 22nd, 2019 / AgWeb

The statement just came to me: “Let Africans decide what is best for Africa!” 

A European “expert” had offered a different opinion. In his view, African farmers don’t need cutting-edge technology because we don’t understand the risks. He wants non-Africans to decide what is best for Africa. 

The scene was CRISPRcon 2019, a forum hosted last month in the Netherlands by …