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African countries to develop climate-resilient agriculture systems

September 16th, 2019 / DownToEarth

Fifty-five African countries recently signed a five-point declaration to increase the climate adaptation and resilience of the continent’s food systems.  

The declaration, signed by government representatives at the African Green Revolution Forum – 2019 in Accra, Ghana on September 4, 2019, recognises climate change as a challenge to Africa’s food …

Ban on GM technology, biggest obstacle to food security, scientists say

September 16th, 2019 / KBC, Kenya

The Kenyan government should embrace the use of biotechnology in order to boost food security.

According to scientists, the ban of Genetically Modified (GM) technology imposed in the country in 2012 has been the biggest obstacle to food sustainability.

The scientists have for the last ten years been carrying out successful Confined …

New app diagnoses crop diseases

September 16th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:

A team of scientists in conjunction with the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) Namulonge has developed a mobile phone application which uses artificial intelligence to accurately identify crop pests and diseases in the field.

The app also delivers the latest advice to manage all major diseases …

SATI gene editing could replace CRISPR

September 13th, 2019 / News – Medical, Life Sciences, UK

The ability to edit genes within living cells and organisms at all levels, using tools like the well-known and powerful CRISPR-Cas9, is one of the most sophisticated and useful advances in modern biology. However, the technique has been limited by a myriad of safety concerns.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute …

Microsoft to collaborate with AGRA to create technology solutions in agriculture through its 4Afrika Initiative

September 13th, 2019 / Farmers Review Africa

Microsoft is looking to collaborate with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to co-create technology solutions in agriculture through its 4Afrika Initiative. The collaboration will support AGRA’s digital transformation as it works to improve food security for 30m farming households across 11 countries, including Ghana, by 2021.

This …

Sequenced pea genome aids effort to improve global nutrition, boost sustainable farming

September 13th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

An international team of researchers has assembled the first genome of the field pea, providing insight into how Mendel’s original genetic model evolved and help future improvements of the crop. The study, published in Nature Genetics, has important implications for global nutrition and sustainability of crops. Pea is the second most important grain …

Danforth Center tapped to improve sorghum as a bioenergy crop

September 12th, 2019 / USAgnet.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) has launched a major initiative to develop bioenergy crops through genomics-based research. Danforth Center Principal Investigator, Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., will lead a multi-institutional project under this initiative to deepen the understanding of sorghum, a versatile …

Advanced breeding paves the way for disease-resistant beans

September 12th, 2019 / Phys.org

ETH researchers are involved in the development and implementation of a method to efficiently breed for disease-resistant beans in different regions of the world. Their work will help to improve the livelihood and food security of smallholders in developing countries. Read more … …

Livestock feeding a key factor in gainful farming

September 12th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Livestock keeping is an enterprise whose main objective is to get profit at the end of the day. Much as we raise animals for our own benefit, they have rights such as the right to adequate, good, clean food. Read more … …

‘Patchwork’ of global gene editing regulations will harm seed production, group warns

September 4th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Failing to harmonize international regulations around the use of gene editing in agricultural production will hurt seed production globally, the International Seed Federation has cautioned.

The Federation wants governments and agricultural sector players to make conscious efforts to treat gene editing technology in a way that avoids the “mistakes” that have …