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Reducing food loss in West Africa

May 29th, 2015 / Mongabay, Australia

Helping farmers combat post-harvest losses is a win-win proposition. It helps raise incomes for some of the most vulnerable households in West Africa, lowers food prices for consumers, alleviates hunger and reduces stress on the environment. Read …

Helping youth to help farmers

May 28th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

The Ugandan government is distributing over 300million coffee seedlings in a period at a rate of 100 million annually. These are distributed freely to farmers in over the 82 coffee growing districts of the country. For the smooth running of the project, UCDA has identified about 1500 coffee seedling …

Meet the woman who pioneered GM in agriculture

May 28th, 2015 / St. Louis Public Radio, US.

Mary-Dell Chilton pioneered the field of genetic engineering in agriculture. She spent most of her decades-long career working for Syngenta, where she founded the agribusiness company’s research on genetically modified seeds. Her work would transform agriculture — and trigger a heated debate over the safety of GMOs. Read …

Talk about food security; talk about maize

May 28th, 2015 / CIMMYT.org

Good news from Africa! Policy breakthroughs on transgenic research in Mozambique and Tanzania have led to approval of confined field trials (CFTs) and a more research-friendly regulatory framework, respectively. Mozambique’s CFTs will be at the Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM; Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique) research station …

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 …