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Maize and Sorghum

May 28th, 2015 / B4FA.org

B4FA provides a snapshot of some of the main plant improvement initiatives taking place in important crops in Africa, and a link to the groups doing this work. Just added, MAIZE and SORGHUM.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global maize production in 2013 …

Rediscovering indigenous vegetables

May 28th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: African traditional vegetables were a big part of people’s diet and culture until modern vegetables like cabbage and carrots were introduced. In the past few years, however, traditional vegetables have slowly been regaining popularity. Read …

The last thing Africa needs to be debating is GMOs

May 28th, 2015 / Washington Post, US

Say the words “green revolution,” and people take sides. For opponents, the phrase conjures visions of monocrop fields fertilized with chemicals and sprayed with more chemicals. For proponents, it evokes the tremendous efficiencies that have helped us feed our burgeoning population. For Joe DeVries, a plant scientist, “it’s a …

If you don’t want food genetically modified, tell nature to stop it

May 26th, 2015 / Reuters, UK

Farmers and breeders have for centuries used cross-breeding to improve the genetic characteristics of crops and animals. Because this process involves gene transfers within the same species, environmental advocates label it “natural” — even though cross-breeding is clearly man-made. Modern genetic splicing makes it possible to combine genes from …

Worldwide network of seed information is taking root

May 26th, 2015 / SciDev.net

Collecting and saving seeds is nothing new — it is as old as farming societies themselves. But now this mission is the motivating force for a growing contingent of scientists across the globe, engaged in what some frame as a veritable race against time to conserve the world’s crop …

Working to save African cassava from whitefly

May 26th, 2015 / TED Blog

For decades, the farmers of East Africa have battled the African whitefly, a tiny insect that infests the cassava crop. Computational biologist Laura Boykin, who studies the Bemisia tabaci whiteflies that plague East Africa, using genomics, supercomputing and evolutionary history. With the data she’s gathering, now publicly available via …

Soil – the forgotten resource, Infographic

May 25th, 2015 / FAO, Italy

Soils host a quarter of our planet’s biodiversity. Soil is one of nature’s most complex ecosystems: it contains a myriad of organisms that interact and contribute to the global cycles that make all life possible Read …

AfDB invests N14 billion in African agriculture

May 25th, 2015 / Premium Times, Nigeria

The African Development Bank, AfDB, said it has invested N14.78 billion (N2.91 trillion) in the agriculture sector of its Regional Member Countries (RMC) in 46 years to grow their economy. About 1.5 million people had access to improved technology and some 600 production and marketing facilities were constructed. Read …

Genetic engineering is just a tool

May 25th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

“Genetic engineering is just a tool and in itself is neither good or bad, says Iida Ruishalme” Read …

Saving coffee from extinction

May 24th, 2015 / BBC.co.uk

“Richer countries buy it, roast it and drink it, but have not paid for the agronomy. Only now is the industry waking up and seeing the need for it. The coffee industry has realised no-one else is doing it – it’s going to have to be us,” says Dr …