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Uganda ruling party greenlights superbananas and other GMOs

May 11th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Uganda’s ruling party has approved a bill that will give the green light to superbananas and other genetically modified foods. The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) parliamentary caucus has agreed on the controversial National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, signaling that Uganda will soon adopt a “GMO bill”. Read …

Weaver ants lift cashew nut yields in Benin trial

May 11th, 2015 / SciDevNet, UK

Patrols of ants on cashew nut trees can roughly double the yield of the crop, according to researchers in Benin. The researchers say that African weaver ants (Oecophylla longinoda) are an effective natural way to reduce considerable losses of cashew nuts from insect pests, such as fruit flies, and improve …

Kenyan government urged to lift its ban that on GMO imports

May 9th, 2015 / Coast Week, Kenya

Scientists meeting in Nairobi have urged the government to lift the ban that was imposed on the importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in 2012. The Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) said that the ban has slowed down the momentum that Kenya has built in agricultural research. …

Forests, trees and landscapes for food security and nutrition

May 9th, 2015 / International Union of Forest Research Organisations, Austria

About one in nine people globally still suffer from hunger with the majority of the hungry living in Africa and Asia. The world’s forests have great potential to improve their nutrition and ensure their livelihoods. In fact, forests and forestry are essential to achieve food security as the limits of …

What does the world eat?

May 8th, 2015 / FAO

FAO provides updated data on what we eat and what food’s available – from 245 countries and regions. Read …

Climate-smart agriculture: Acting locally, informing globally

May 8th, 2015 / Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

In 2014 CCAFS helped advance the concept and practice of climate-smart agriculture in farmers’ fields and in global initiatives, through close collaboration with farmers, civil society, governments and researchers. Here are some of the highlights from its 2014 Annual Report. Read …

Tanzania Invaded By the Deadly Papaya Mealy Bug Disease

May 8th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

The fast spreading and highly destructive papaya mealy bug has invaded Tanzania, IITA has reported. “The pest is rapidly spreading through the coastal areas of Tanzania around Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar,” IITA statement posted on its website says.The pest is attacking important food crops such as papaya and cassava, …

B4FA Week in Review – 6 May 2015

May 7th, 2015

Everyone’s favorite beverage – coffee – made a splash in headlines this week, as a crop that both has the potential to boost livelihoods and as one that is vulnerable to climate change. While the Ugandan government is giving farmers free seeds in an effort to double coffee production, …

Pamela Ronald: The case for engineering our food

May 7th, 2015 / TED.com

Pamela Ronald studies the genes that make plants more resistant to disease and stress. In this eye-opening talk, she describes her decade-long quest to help create a variety of rice that can survive prolonged flooding. She shows how the genetic improvement of seeds saved the Hawaiian papaya crop in the …

Genetically-Modified Cattle May Help Reshape African Farms

May 7th, 2015 / National Geographic, US

With one gene, molecular geneticist Steve Kemp may someday be able to boost the success of small farms across a huge swath of central Africa. The gene is from a baboon, and it’s important because it produces a protein that kills a diabolical protozoan called Trypanosoma brucei. Trypanosoma brucei causes …