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CTA has awarded four grants to support the use of blockchain in agriculture across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific

July 15th, 2019

CTA has awarded four grants to support the use of blockchain in agriculture across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

With CTA’s support Bioversity International, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Erba 96 and Nitidae will implement blockchain projects in Côte d’Ivoire; Papua New Guinea; Sierra Leone; Trinidad and Tobago; and Uganda. 

With blockchain every transaction …

Half the world’s pigs are facing the largest animal disease outbreak in history

July 15th, 2019

The FOODTANK reports

The African Swine Fever (ASF) virus spreads between animals through direct contact or tick vectors, and it is highly stable in meat products and the environment. This means that even after going through processing, packaging, and transportation, products contaminated at the source can still spread the disease further. Dr. Andres Perez, …

The deadly disease every pig farmer should watch out for

July 15th, 2019

Pig rearing remains a lucrative business, but it is often disrupted by diseases. One of the diseases that attack pigs is the African swine fever.

… Sadly, African swine fever has no treatment and can wipe out an entire pig farm. 

No vaccines have been developed but several bio-security measures can be …

Agroecology as innovation

July 10th, 2019

On July 3, the High Level Panel of Experts of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its much-anticipated report on agroecology in Rome. The report signals the continuing shift in emphasis in the UN agency’s approach to agricultural development. As outgoing FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva …

Gene editing technology in gAgriculture: time for African governments to intervene

July 10th, 2019

A series of genome editing related research work in Africa has triggered the need for the continent to develop a dedicated policy for new and precision breeding techniques, especially for genome editing.

According to experts who are already doing gene editing research, National Biosafety Authorities in the continent need to develop …

Foods enhanced with proven health benefits not making it to consumers quickly enough

July 10th, 2019

Professor Johnathan Napier, who pioneered the development of plants that produce heart healthy omega-3 fish oils, says that misinformation and over-regulation is stopping or slowing several GM foods with the potential to save lives from making it to consumers.

He points to the example of Golden Rice, which has been genetically …

Armyworms are devastating Asia’s crops, but we have a plan to save them

July 9th, 2019 / The Conversation, UK

A very hungry caterpillar is rampaging through crops across the world, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The fall armyworm, also known as Spodoptera frugiperda (fruit destroyer), loves to eat maize (corn) but also plagues many other crops vital to human food security, such as rice and sorghum.

This invasive eating …

Smarter fertilizers can reduce environmental contamination

July 9th, 2019 / Scientific American, US

To feed the world’s growing population, farmers need to increase crop yields. Applying more fertilizer could help. But standard versions work inefficiently and often harm the environment. Fortunately, products that are more ecologically sound – controlled-release fertilizers – are available and becoming increasingly …

CRISPR gene edited soybeans suited for hotter climates offer ‘enormous’ crop yield boost

July 9th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Chinese agricultural scientists using gene-editing technology have created new soybean mutants, which could lead to soybean crops in much warmer climates including South China and countries near the Equator.

To create the soybean mutants, research teams from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences knocked out two genes using the gene-editing tool known as …

African agripreneurs are reversing the farming stigma

July 8th, 2019 / Borgen Magazine, US

Many African millennials perceive farm work as a last resort, a shameful form of employment that is indicative of poverty. Young African agripreneurs (a shortened form of “agricultural entrepreneurs”) are trying to reverse the stigma by professionalizing farming and transforming it into a more lucrative and attractive employment option for …