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‘Gene drive’ moratorium shot down at UN biodiversity meeting

January 5th, 2017 / Nature, UK

World governments at a United Nations biodiversity meeting this week rejected calls for a global moratorium on gene drives, a technology that can rapidly spread modified genes through populations and could be used to engineer entire species. But environmental activists’ appeals for a freeze on gene-drive field trials, and on …

UN expert says Africa needs radical change in agricultural production systems

December 23rd, 2016 / New Business, Ethiopia

African countries need to undertake radical change in agricultural production systems, regardless of the transformative pathway chosen to change food systems and trade regimes, says a UN expert.
Stephen Karingi, Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Regional Integration and Trade Division also urged that Africa needs to …

Safeguarding of biodiversity must be integrated across agricultural sectors

December 23rd, 2016 / Zimbabwe Star

Governments from 167 countries have given unprecedented recognition to the need to protect biodiversity across the agricultural sectors as a key action to achieve sustainable development, including ensuring food security and addressing climate change.
Meeting in Cancun, Mexico at the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP13) which ended on 17 December, governments …

How AfDB is helping transform agriculture in Africa

December 23rd, 2016 /

By 2025, Africa aims to feed its fast growing population with its own production. What is more, the world will need Africa’s help to feed an extra two billion people in the coming generation. So making the right investments right now is crucial to unleash the huge potential of Africa’s …

Eight of 10 African youth say Climate Change impacts their lives

December 23rd, 2016 / BusinessStandard, India

Over 80 per cent of the African youth feel that climate change has affected their everyday lives, the COP22 Steering Committee said.
Quoting a survey held in 17 African countries, the Committee of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) said 86 per …

A watershed moment: dryland farmers adapt to climate change

December 21st, 2016 / India Climate Dialogue

An holistic approach to watershed management is turning victims of climate change into winners. It starts with water and soil management and improved crop varieties and diversity on farm, and later expanded to include livestock integration, linking farmers to markets, building alternative livelihoods, wastewater treatment, self-sustaining filtered drinking water and …

Africa at highest risk of major economic blow from future climate threats

December 21st, 2016 / Reuters, UK

Countries most dependent on agriculture are also at high risk of experiencing changes in climate over the next 30 years and face the biggest costs in dealing with the effects of extreme weather, according to a global climate index published on Monday.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 17 of the 20 …

Ethiopia: Increasing nutrient-use efficiency

December 20th, 2016 / The Ethiopian Herald

Intensive high-yield agriculture is dependent on addition of fertilizers, especially industrially produced NH4 and NO3. In some regions of the world, crop production is still constrained by too little application of fertilizers. Without the use of synthetic fertilizers, world food production could not have increased at the rate it did …

University students threaten demos over retaining GMO ban

December 20th, 2016 / The Star, Kenya

Students from five public universities have threatened to usher in the New Year with massive nationwide protests if the Jubilee administration fails to reverse the ban on genetically modified food products.
University student leaders yesterday said the ban is hurting learners undertaking biotechnology courses in terms of much time they spend …

Reflection of World Soil Day

December 20th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reflects: December 5, 2016, was World Soil Day but perhaps not so many farmers in Uganda observed it in any special way. Soil is the medium in which crops grow and we depend on it for 95 per cent of our food, according to a recent …