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A breeding revolution could unleash the potential of potato

September 4th, 2019 / Science Magazine, US

Unlike other major crops, however, the potato has not had a breeding breakthrough of the kind that helped dramatically boost yields during the Green Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. The reason is that creating a new potato variety is slow and difficult, even by the patient standards of plant …

China farmers warned to avoid illegal African swine fever vaccines

September 4th, 2019 / South China Morning Post

China’s agriculture ministry is warning farmers against using illegal experimental vaccines in the country’s ongoing battle with African swine fever.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said it had ordered local governments to step up checks and crack down on illegal vaccines.

The move was in …

The protection of traditional knowledge in Africa

September 3rd, 2019 / Inventa International

Traditional Knowledge (TK) is, in accordance to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “a living body of knowledge passed on from generation to generation within a community”. Traditional Knowledge is the know-how, skills and practices developed within a community, forming part of its cultural identity, which is passed through generations.

Despite the …

GM tech expands with more crops to more countries

September 3rd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Recent developments in genetic modification (GM) technology include a way to prevent the popular Cavendish banana variety from being wiped out by the Fusarium wilt fungus, according to the latest report of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) released last week (29 August) in Manila.The Cavendish …

Patents on plants: Is the sellout of genes a threat to farmers and global food security?

September 3rd, 2019 / DW.com

There’s an ongoing global trend of companies claiming property rights for plants or genetic material of plants  across the globe.

“Resources that used to be available to mankind as a community have now been confined to privatization,” Judith Düesberg from NGO gene ethical network told DW.

The United States first introduced the idea …

Revolutionary technologies will drive African prosperity – this is why

September 2nd, 2019 / World Economic Forum for Africa

Right now, we’re at a tipping point in Africa’s development. We’re hurtling headlong into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which has the potential to turbocharge the socio-economic development of the entire African continent. We’ve got the youngest continent in the world, with 60% of Africa’s 1.25 billion people under the age …

How do you run your cooperative society?

September 2nd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

It is quite common nowadays to hear political leaders calling upon small-scale farmers to form cooperative societies sometimes referred to as groups. The idea is to help farmers pool together their resources in order to produce more and to earn more. 

When 50 tomato farmers in one …

GM cassava research progresses in Uganda

September 2nd, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

As Ugandan researchers progress in breeding genetically modified (GM)  disease-resistant cassava, they are requesting permission to create permanent demonstration gardens of the improved crops. The goal is to ensure continuous documentation of the ongoing cassava research and also provide a place where people can see GM plants. However, the request …