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Farmers turn wild sunflowers into low cost fertilizer

May 5th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

A group of farmers in Gatanga have found a way to produce local fertilizer that is delivering a much cheaper and more effective alternative to synthetic fertliser and a new business opportunity at grassroots level. The liquid fertiliser is made from a plant that grows wild in rural areas of …

GMOs: it’s the trait, not the method, that’s important

May 5th, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

Many people have strong opinions about genetically modified plants, also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. But sometimes there’s confusion around what it means to be a GMO. It also may be much more sensible to judge a plant by its specific traits rather than the way it was …

What do we really know about glyphosate?

May 5th, 2015 / National Geographic, US

Seeds have been genetically engineered to tolerate glyphhosate so farmers can apply it to entire fields without destroying crops. As a result, its use has skyrocketed but some experts say research is needed exploring what happens to it in the environment and how much people are exposed. Read …

The future of food: growing more with the same land

May 4th, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

There are three main reasons why the productivity of existing farmland will need to dramatically increase in the next 40 years.
The world’s population is unlikely to stabilise this century and is on course to reach up to 12 billion by 2100. That’s double the existing population and a lot of …

How African entrepreneurs can build knowledge economies

May 4th, 2015 / SciDevNet, UK

The growth of mobile technologies and internet access is now the backbone of any knowledge economy — we must learn that the more information we share, the more people will benefit. Read …

Five priorities for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

May 4th, 2015 / Nature, UK

This week, the United Nations is deliberating in New York how to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that it will launch formally in September. Science must be at the heart of its plans. Read …

How I Got Converted to G.M.O. Food

May 4th, 2015 / New York Times, USA

Mark Lynas writes “A lifelong environmentalist, I opposed genetically modified foods in the past. Fifteen years ago, I even participated in vandalizing field trials in Britain. Then I changed my mind. After writing two books on the science of climate change, I decided I could no longer continue taking a …

Training young scientists to help farmers

May 4th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes “Investing in closing gaps in plant breeding and seed systems is critical in combating hunger, malnutrition and poverty. And to address these challenges requires human capital and working systems, among others.To achieve this goal, Makerere University has developed a curriculum to train students in plant …

The Debate Over GMOs Is About to Change

May 4th, 2015 / Pacific-Standard

Unlike the vast majority of GMOs on the market, Arctic Apples don’t conceal their GMO identity from consumers. Their genetically engineered, non-browning trait is intended to be a selling point with those who eat them, not just those who grow or distribute them. Read …

The sweet potato naturally genetically engineered by bacteria.

May 4th, 2015 / ars technica

One of the most frequently mentioned issues with GMO foods is a vague concern about bringing genes from distantly related organisms into plants. But an international team of biologists has now found that this has occurred naturally in a major crop plant: the sweet potato. The strains of this crop …