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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 …

Reliance on trade makes food systems vulnerable

May 24th, 2015 / SciDec.net

Boosting international trade may not be the best way to improve food security, as it makes many countries vulnerable to food shortages caused by market fluctuations, according to new research. Read …

Debating GMOs

May 24th, 2015 / MagicValley.com

“The anti-GMO movement has been more successful in undermining science than the anti-climate changers or the anti-vaccinators,” says Mark Lynas, GMO supporter Read …

African countries urged to embrace smart agriculture

May 23rd, 2015 / Zambia Daily Mail

African countries must embrace climate smart agriculture practices if the continent is to attain food security and nutrition in the face of climate change, says New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Director of Programmes Estherine Fotabong. Read …