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Week in Review

B4FA Week in Review – 15 February 2017

February 15th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, reports confirm that scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia have cracked the genetic code for quinoa, the ancient South American “superfood” has recently become prized in the United States and Europe for its highly nutritious seeds – and the FAO is …

B4FA Week in Review

February 8th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, we carry four stories on the continuing controversy surrounding genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). In an interview with Rose Gidado, Nigeria’s Coordinator of the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology, dispels some of the common myths for farmers and consumers alike. Then, Fred Gould, chair of U.S. National Academies of Sciences GMO report, reaffirms safety of …

B4FA Week in Review – 1 February 2017

February 1st, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, we feature two stories about burgeoning research into microbes and how they might be harnessed to safeguard and improve crops. In “Why microbes are key to solving Africa’s food security crisis“, the Conversation, Africa, describes a few initiatives across the continent that may help farmers take advantage of the latest …

B4FA Week in Review – 25 January 2016

January 25th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, the chair of the African Union Commission appointed a ten-member panel to advise the continent on use of existing and emerging technologies for economic development, including assessing ethical and safety requirements and standards. NEPAD, the African Union’s economic development programme, will work closely with the panel, to be co-chaired …

B4FA Week in Review – 18 January 2017

January 18th, 2017 / B4FA.org

Drought-plagued Southern Africa is facing a new threat: the invasion of fall armyworms, an invasive caterpillar from the Americas that’s already devastated 10 percent of farms inZambia and has spread to Zimbabwe and Malawi. The fall armyworm has destroyed tens of thousands of acres of corn fields in Southern Africa, …

B4FA Week in Review – 11 January 2016

January 11th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, we’re perusing a fascinating map of smallholder farms in developing countries that was released at the end of last year. Created by researchers at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment (IonE), the map used household census data to map farming populations and average farm sizes across …

B4FA Week in Review – 4 January 2017

January 4th, 2017 / B4FA.org

New year’s greetings to all our readers! We ease into 2017 with a summary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP13, which ended on 17 December in Cancun, Mexico. During the conference, governments agreed on steps to promote integration of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity across sectors, including agriculture. …

B4FA Week in Review – 21 December 2016

December 21st, 2016 / B4FA.org

As 2016 draws to a close, Calestous Juma looks back on 2016 as a year when “Important wins were notched up for African agriculture” in a piece published in The Conversation, Africa, this week. He cites emerging technologies such as “precision agriculture, sensors, satellites and drones”, “communication, transportation, wholesale and …

B4FA Week in Review – 14 December 2016

December 14th, 2016 / B4FA.org

This week in B4FA’s latest blog post, our own Claudia Canales writes about the various benefits of biofortified iron-rich beans, as well as the challenges inherent in developing such a bean, including nutrient bioavailability, the hardiness, yield and flavour of the biofortified variety, not to mention distribution and the availability …

B4FA Week in Review – 7 December 2016

December 7th, 2016 / B4FA.org

On Monday, the annual African Economic Conference opened in Abuja, Nigeria, on the theme “Feed Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth”. Organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and now in its 11th year, the conference will tackle …