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Is hybrid rice solution to Africa’s food shortage?

August 30th, 2019 / The Standard, Kenya

Every African government today is talking about food and nutrition security and employment for its people especially youth and women.Yet, Africa is still producing too little food for its bourgeoning population to eat. Is the continent really doing everything needed to achieve its aspirations and visions in the agriculture sector?As …

New biosensor provides insight into the stress behavior of plants

August 30th, 2019 / Science Daily

Researchers have developed a method with which they can further investigate an important messenger substance in plants — phosphatidic acid. Using a new biosensor, they are able to track the activity of phosphatidic acid spatially and temporally for the first time and thus, investigate plants that are exposed to stress …

CRISPR and other new breeding techniques could be key to unlocking potential of global wheat production

August 30th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru  writes:

To meet a growing global demand for wheat, scientists and policy makers are calling for wider use of new breeding techniques in a quest to increase yields and fight pests, disease and climate change.

While other key commodity crops – including corn, soybeans and cotton – have …

John Innes discovery could pave the way for disease-resistant rice crops

August 23rd, 2019 / Food Ingredients

Researchers at the John Innes Centre have come one step closer to genetically engineering rice that is resistant to a globally devastating fungus. The discovery, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, provides new insights into how rice’s immune receptors recognize and bind to fungal proteins. With a grip on how …

Ethiopia’s future is tied to water – a vital yet threatened resource in a changing climate

August 23rd, 2019 / The Conversation

In July Ethiopians planted 350 million trees in a single day. This was part of the country’s national green legacy initiative to counter environmental degradation and climate change. The initiative ultimately aims to grow 4 billion trees across the country.

Ethiopia has long struggled with land degradation problems in part caused by unsustainable agricultural practices – like vegetation …

Farming in the digital age

August 23rd, 2019 / African Business

We need more young Africans to farm. Let’s give them the tools to do so, writes Michael Hailu, director of the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA). Read more … …

Biotech crops continue to help meet the challenges of increased population and climate change

August 22nd, 2019 / ISAAA, US

A total of 70 countries adopted biotech crops through cultivation and importation in 2018, the 23rd year of continuous biotech crop adoption, according to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018(ISAAA Brief 54) released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) today. Twenty-six countries (21 …

Access to extension services and guaranteed markets remain a problem for farmers

August 22nd, 2019 / Ghana Business News

A study  conducted by the Africa RISING Project, Ghana has revealed that access to extension services, guaranteed markets for produce and poor road networks, continues to be a major problem confronting farmers in the country.

The study, “Assessing institutions enabling or constraining access to output and input markets by farm house-holds …

Tricksters, Toolsters, Tinkerers, and Traders

August 22nd, 2019 / Plos, US

The American Society for Plant Biology (ASPB) showcased the latest research in Plant Synthetic Biology. With topics ranging from modifying plants for desalination to reimagining carbon fixation. Read more … …

Transforming cassava wastes to wealth as a climate-change mitigation strategy in Nigeria

August 21st, 2019 / CTA, Netherlands

Cassava production and processing in Nigeria generates large quantities of hazardous wastes and residues. Aside from the environmental hazards, such wastes contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An innovative climate-smart intervention in Nigeria is to re-use the cassava peels in animal feeds. This reduces the demand for maize for feed, …