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Week in Review

B4FA Week in Review – 27 April 2016

April 27th, 2016 / B4FA.org

This week, B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh writes in SciDevNet about a new project that aims to help 5.5 million smallholder farmers across 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with stress-tolerant maize varieties. The program will apply conventional breeding techniques to develop maize that’s resistant to drought, low soil fertility, heat, pests and …

B4FA Week in Review – 20 April 2016

April 20th, 2016 / B4FA.org

This week, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) released its annual reporton the adoption of biotech crops, focusing on 2015. The report showcases a 100-fold increase in biotech crops in the last 20 years, from 1.7 milion hectares in 1996 to 179.7 million hectares in 2015. …

B4FA Week in Review – 13 April 2016

April 13th, 2016 / B4FA.org

We are pleased to have a special feature for you this week: B4FA adviser Dr Jocelyn Webster – who established the first plant biotechnology laboratory at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa and was the Executive Director of AfricaBio – has written a piece for …

B4FA Week in Review – 6 April 2016

April 6th, 2016 / B4FA.org

This week, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) meets with Africa’s agricultural leaders in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for its biannual regional conference, themed “Transforming African agri-food systems for inclusive growth and shared prosperity”. To kick off the proceedings, FAO director Jose Graziano da Silva published an op-ed,“Acting …

B4FA Week in Review – 30 March 2016

March 30th, 2016 / B4FA.org

New research published this week in Nature Plants found that the wild relatives of our most important food crops are at risk of going extinct, yet are underrepresented in the world’s gene banks. According to the study, which looked at 1,076 wild relatives related to 81 species of crops, more …

B4FA Week in Review – 23 March 2016

March 23rd, 2016 / B4FA.org

Earlier this month, Nature Climate change published a report stating that time is running short to protect Africa’s food supply, and that key food crops are threatened, while the FAO reported that 80% of countries in need of food aid are from Africa. A story from The Economist (“African agriculture …

B4FA Week in Review – 16 March 2016

March 16th, 2016 / B4FA.org

Over the weekend, NASA scientists sounded an alarm over the fact that “the planet had its biggest temperature spike in modern history”: rising 1.35 degrees Celsius above the 1951-1980 average, following a steady trajectory of atmospheric warming, exacerbated by the El Niño weather phenomenon. In the shadow of this alarming development, Lancet …

B4FA Week in Review – 9 March 2016

March 9th, 2016 / B4FA.org

In celebration of yesterday’s International Women’s Day 2016, we begin with a set of stories focused on women’s roles in agriculture in the face of climate change and food insecurity. A report called “Seeds of adaptation: climate change, crop diversification, and the role of women farmers” notes that “Around the world, …

B4FA Week in Review – 2 March 2016

March 2nd, 2016 / B4FA.org

This week, scientists, researchers, and members of the private sector from around the globe met in Arusha, Tanzania, to share research and information on whitefly. The Second International Whitefly Symposium addressed this serious agricultural pest, which destroys crops by directly feeding on plants as well as transmitting viruses – including Cassava …

B4FA Week in Review – 24 February 2016

February 24th, 2016 / B4FA.org

In a week in which we have been assured that we will need all our tools to feed the world in the face of climate change and a booming global population, and that agriculture could drive a new era of economic growth for Africa but only if it focuses on the small, family-run …