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Could pigeon pea be a life-changer for Malawi’s drought-stricken farmers?

October 13th, 2015 / AllAfrica

The pigeon pea, a high protein pulse, has proven resistant to El Niño’s disastrous effects in Malawi. The FAO has estimated that cereal harvests have decreased by up to 27% compared to last year, and UN’s WFP recently announced that 2.8 million people in Malawi will face hunger in coming …

Delivering sustainable development goals in Africa

October 13th, 2015 / International Policy Digest

In September 2015, world leaders unanimously adopted the sustainable development goals (SDGs) during the 70th UN General Assembly, signalling a united, mutually collective front against hunger, malnutrition, poverty, unemployment, disease, climate change, low agricultural productivity, degraded ecosystems and social inequity, among the notable challenges particularly facing Africa. What are some …

How EU countries opting out of GMOs affect the rest of the world

October 12th, 2015 / Science 2.0

For the EU countries that are opting out of GM, not much changes in terms of current farming practice, and the decision has no real cost to their citizens. It does; however, deny many EU farmers potentially valuable options in the future, particularly as the science of genetic engineering advances. …

Uganda: “Some Western countries do not need GMOs but we do”

October 12th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Recently, Daily Monitor published an opinion titled, “Future of Africa’s agriculture lies in sustainable green farming, not GMOs.” But Ugandans should not resist this technology simply because some Western countries have not accepted it. Let us not forget the countries that are resisting GMOs are food secure and are not …

Ghana loses 30 per cent of crop yields to pests, diseases

October 12th, 2015 / Graphic Online

In Ghana, the impact of pests and diseases on crop production is a threat to the country’s food security. An initiative called “Plant Wise” executed by the nonprofit Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International seeks to mitigate their effects on crop yields. So far, 66 plant clinics have been established in …

New analyses of cassava brown streak virus genome sequences may hasten dev of disease-free cassava

October 9th, 2015 / PLOS One

Cassava brown streak disease is caused by two devastating viruses, Cassava brown streak virus and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus, which frequently infecting one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important staple food crops. In this new research, 12 new whole genomes were uncovered, doubling the genomic sequences available in the public …

Gambia: National cassava development strategy validated with FAO

October 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica

The FAO, the Gambia’s Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders have validated the National Cassava development strategy document, intended to help transform cassava production and make it an economic commercial-oriented sector. The government has requested the support of FAO to develop cassava because the country’s economic growth has been stifled …

Genetic makeup of thousands of rice varieties placed in global seed data pool

October 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Genome sequences of more than 3,000 rice varieties have been placed with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) by IRRI, the world’s leading rice research institute, in a move to set up a global data exchange system for crop genetic resources. Having genetic information …

Ghanaian farmers call on government to support biotech outreach

October 8th, 2015 / ISAAA

Ghanaian Farmer Leaders are challenging their government and scientists to intensify outreach to farmers and other stakeholders in order to allay fears on the safety of GM crops and other biosafety issues. In a biotechnology and biosafety sensitization workshop held at Techiman, Central Ghana, the leaders stated that if similar …

Kenyan county executives of agriculture vouch for Bt cotton

October 8th, 2015 / ISAAA

Two Kenyan County Executive Committee members for Agriculture expressed their support for the introduction of biotech cotton in the sub-region after undertaking a recent study tour of India’s biotech cotton sub-sectors including research, farmers’ fields, seed production facilities, and cotton seed oil processing. The study tour aimed at exposing African …