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African Development Bank pumps $24bn into agriculture

April 26th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza, US

The African Development Bank (AFDB) has committed $24 billion towards Africa’s food production over the next 10 years in order to create jobs and increase food security, along with boosting the agriculture industry on the continent.
The funds and plan were released by the bank’s president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina during …

Talking Biotech: What’s blocking GMO crop adoption in Africa?

April 26th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Outside of South Africa, Kenya was the first place in sub-Saharan Africa to do research and development of genetically engineered crops. This week’s Talking Biotech guest, professor Matthew Harsh from Concordia University in Montreal, lived in Kenya for a year while conducting sociological and ethnographic research. He interviewed scientists, policymakers, …

Microbes, new weapon against agricultural pests in Africa

April 26th, 2017 / IPS News, US

Microscopic soil organisms could be an environmentally friendly way to control crop pests and diseases and even protect agriculture against the impacts of climate change, a leading researcher says.
Africa is battling an outbreak of trans-boundary pests and diseases like the invasive South America fall armyworm (FAW), tomato leaf miner and …

Malawi progresses GM crop trials

April 26th, 2017 / Alliance for Science, US

Bolstered by a solid and functional biosafety framework, Malawi is one of the few countries in Africa poised to move forward in commercializing genetically modified crops, with cotton, cowpea and banana now in field trials.
The Biosafety Act was passed in 2002, biosafety regulations in 2007 and the National Biotechnology and …

Best farming practices Uganda can learn from Brazil

April 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Practice: In Uganda, most small scale farmers practice mixed crop and livestock farming where they grow various types of crops and at the same time keep livestock on the same piece of land which may not lead to increased yields.
Lesson: However, Ugandan farmers could adopt a …

Preserve indigenous crops

April 26th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Mr Kgotla Autlwetse has called on farmers to retrace their steps and start planting indigenous field crops alongside open pollinated and hybrid ones.
He raised a concern that indigenous field crops seemed to be disappearing and they needed to be preserved for …

AfDB boss asks why Africa is importing $35bn in food annually

April 21st, 2017 / Africa News

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, says his outfit has achieved major milestones in this year alone but a lot more needed to be done to improve the continent’s economic fortunes.
Top of the AfDB’s proposals on how to ‘fast-track’ Africa’s economic potential is to improve the power …

Kenyan scientists warn of health risk on animal antibiotics use

April 21st, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has warned that increased use of antibiotics to boost growth of animals is endangering the health of meat consumers.
Kemri’s Director for Microbiology Research Sam Kariuki on Thursday said that 70 per cent of antibiotics sold over the counter are being used to boost animal …

Combating aflatoxins to curb Africa’s post-harvest losses

April 21st, 2017 / InDepth News

Forty percent of the food produced in Africa is lost, largely due to poor product handling, storage and processing practices, with aflatoxins often responsible for much of this loss in the post-harvest phase.
Aflatoxins are poisonous and cancer-causing chemical produced by certain moulds (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) which grow in …

Traditional breeding alters maize composition more than stacking transgenic events

April 20th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Dow AgroSciences LLC researchers, led by Rod A. Herman, evaluated the impact of crossing (stacking) genetically modified (GM) events on maize grain biochemical composition and compared it with the impact caused by generating non-GM hybrids.
The compositional similarity of seven GM stacks containing event DAS-Ø15Ø7-1 was compared to their corresponding non-GM …