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Africa’s agriculture needs young blood, says report

October 5th, 2015 / BBC

A report produced by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and presented last week at the African Green Revolution Forum in Zambia called for modernising land-tenure systems, access to finance, and the image of farming as an industry in order to encourage Africa’s young people to enter …

Biotech strategies to enhance plants’ natural response to drought

October 2nd, 2015 / ISB News Report, US

How do plants deal with flood and drought? They cope by triggering different strategies. Water deficit and water excess are major factors affecting plants yield worldwide. To cope with such factors, plants trigger physiological and biochemical changes allowing them to survive for a limited period of time. See …

Stakeholders from Africa visit Bt cotton fields in India

October 2nd, 2015 / ISAAA, US

Delegates from 29 East and South African cotton growing countries participate in a week long study tour to Bt cotton fields in India from September 27 to October 2, 2015. The “Seeing is believing” study tour is being conducted by the South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), New Delhi, in …

3,000 rice genomes data free on Amazon Web Services cloud

October 2nd, 2015 / ISAAA, US

The International Rice Research Institute announced that the 3,000 Rice Genomes Project (3K RGP) has successfully sequenced 3,024 rice varieties from 89 countries. This big data is a massive source of information for understanding the natural genetic variation in rice and for discovery of novel genes linked to economically …

Scientists advocate agricultural biotechnology for sustainable growth

September 30th, 2015 / Voice of Nigeria

Agricultural experts in Nigeria have identified farming as a major source of boosting the country’s economy and saving it from the overdependence on petroleum and petroleum products. Scientists have pointed out that the application of Agricultural biotechnology or Genetical Modification (GM) into Nigeria’s farming system will not only boost …

Working to allay farmers’ fears of improved seeds

September 30th, 2015 / Daily News, Tanzania

The agriculture sector, while being crippled by poor output brought about by the use of low quality inputs, farmers would rather still stick to traditional seeds than attempt laboratory improved varieties. See …

China funding agriculture research lab in Kenya

September 30th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

The Chinese government is funding a laboratory at a Kenyan university that will train students and conduct agricultural research. The lab will come up in Egerton University which has its main campus in Njoro in south-western Kenya. A crop molecular laboratory is under construction in the campus, in collaboration …

CBSV poses challenge as varieties succumb

September 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Across Africa, cassava is vulnerable to a broad range of diseases as well as less known viral strains across tropical cassava-growing regions. In Uganda, the most common are Cassava Brown Streak Virus (CBSV), which leads to root rot, and Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMV), which …

Sustainability science needs South-South collaboration

September 30th, 2015 / SciDev.net, Uk

Poor countries produce only 2 per cent of publications in sustainability science. Collaborations are dominated by rich countries with few South-South links. To improve, poor nations need more stable policies and better communicated science See …

WFP to help Uganda tackle post-harvest losses

September 28th, 2015 / The Observer, Uganda

World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Uganda to tackle post-harvest handling losses and widen the market for the farmers’ produce. The MoU is intended to support government in finding solutions to strengthen agriculture, which has been …