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New generation of GMO crops could dramatically increase yield

April 4th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Farmers could one day control when their crops ripen after the development of modified rice that flowers on demand.
Despite how advanced our agricultural technology has become, outdoor plants still develop according to the whims of nature — the gentle warmth of early summer sun, the soft patter of spring rains.
Japanese …

The business case for soil

April 4th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Nobody likes dirty business, but the business world must get to grips with dirt. Soil provides food, fibres and fuels, and regulates water resources and climate. Yet most businesses are unaware that their bottom lines depend on soil; nor are they aware of the risks they face from its degradation. …

Trump’s new executive order will worsen hunger in Africa

April 4th, 2017 / National Geographic, US

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump took his most concrete step thus far to unravel his predecessor’s legacy on climate change, with a wide-ranging executive order that dismantles several Obama-era policies to restrict greenhouse gas pollution. The order outraged environmentalists—Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) called it “a declaration of war on American …

Effective biosecurity key to food security in Africa

April 4th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Poor capacity in biosecurity remains a major obstacle to agricultural trade in Africa and limits farmers’ incomes and food security, a meeting has heard.
The 4th Africa Plant Biosecurity Network workshop held in Zambia on 27 February-3 March noted that effective biosecurity system could boost regional and international trade in agricultural …

GMOs: Senegal supports adoption of agric biotech

April 4th, 2017 / EnviroNews, Nigeria

President Sall made it clear that he supported the implementation of biotechnology in Senegal provided necessary measures to minimise risks were taken.
“I must say very clearly that I am for the use of GMOs based on the precautions taken and based on a dynamic regulation, otherwise we would be against …

Irrigation boosts banana yield by 30% in Kenya

April 4th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa

Farmers, who regularly irrigate bananas, can boot the weight of the fruit by more than 30 per cent.
More than 90 per cent of famers in Kenya- especially in Nyanza and Central regions- do not know bananas have to be irrigated like other horticultural crops for high yields. Read …

Majority of EU countries vote against 2 new GM corn varieties but approval still possible

March 29th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project

A majority of EU countries voted on Monday, March 27, against allowing two new genetically modified crops to be grown in Europe, batting the contentious decision on GM cultivation in Europe back to the EU executive. EU governments were asked to vote on the future of two grades of GM …

A step forward to making crops tolerant to severe drought

March 29th, 2017 / Wageningen University

An international consortium of researchers led by Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands has sequenced the genome of the ‘resurrection plant’ Xerophyta viscosa. Today the team publishes the DNA sequence in Nature Plants. In their paper, the team reveals a genetic ‘footprint’ of the amazing ability of this plant …

Investing in Zimbabwe’s smallholder farmers

March 28th, 2017 / AllAfrica

The FAO has launched the Livelihood and Food Security Program to increase agricultural productivity, increase incomes, improve food and nutrition security, and reduce poverty in rural Zimbabwe. The project, which commenced in 2015, will ultimately be implemented in eight districts in the country.
Read …

Uganda: Farmers adopt new technologies to grow rice

March 28th, 2017 / Daily Monitor

Rice farmers in Pallisa and Butaleja districts are celebrating after adopting a new style of growing their crop that has seen them smiling all the way to the bank. Read …

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