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“Great Green Wall” to beat back the Sahara

December 23rd, 2015 / Quartz Africa

Eleven African countries are moving ahead with an ambitious pan-African effort in the Sahel-Saharan region of the continent to protect arable land from the encroaching Sahara desert—by planting trees. The countries — Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal —came together in 2007 to …

Orange-flesh sweet potato solution to Vitamin A deficiency

December 22nd, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

A number of African countries have launched campaigns to increase consumption of orange-flesh sweet potatoes in order to combat malnutrition.Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of preventable childhood blindness and mortality from infections, especially in children and pregnant women. It affects the poorest segments of the population, particularly those …

The 2015 GMO debate: science eclipses anti-biotech hysteria

December 21st, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The emergence of CRISPR – most scientists believe this gene-editing technique is a game-changer and the media coverage has been favorable. This technology is on a collision course with the food movement since CRISPR has the potential to address many of its concerns, from food safety to animal welfare. As …

Paris Climate Agreement unlocks opportunities for food and farming

December 21st, 2015 / Global Forum on Agricultural Research

COP21 opened the door for more adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector – will the agriculture community march in? New analysis from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS ) Read …

Sorghum height research offers insight for wider crop improvement

December 21st, 2015 / Feed navigator.com

Tracking height traits in sorghum plants may boost develop of better preforming sorghum and offer lessons for improving other feed crops. Read …

Protecting plants’ genetic resources for agriculture

December 18th, 2015 / The Namibian

Efforts are afoot to conserve and sustainably use plants as genetic resources for food and agriculture in Namibia. The Namibian National Strategic Action Plan for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (NNSAP-PGRFA) was recently developed under the guidance of the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre (GRTC) and a two-day …

The magic of hybrid seeds

December 18th, 2015 / Daily Nation, Kenya

One of the most important questions that often comes to farmers’ minds is, “what seeds should I plant?” Now, before rushing to the nearest agrovet or seed stockist, arm yourself with this guide that will enable you select the best seeds that fit the location of your farm. Read …

Zanu-PF embraces biotechnology

December 18th, 2015 / Southern Times, South Africa

Zanu-PF is moving closer to embracing biotechnology to increase food production in the country, with the ruling party coming out in its support as a tool to fight hunger and poverty. The party’s secretary of science and technology Professor Jonathan Moyo told delegates at the just-ended Zanu PF’s 15th Annual …

‘Let’s pool knowledge together on biotechnology’

December 17th, 2015 / GhanaWeb.com

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Mahama Ayariga has called on the proponents and sceptics of biotechnology to pool their knowledge together to achieve the collective goal of food security and food sovereignty. “If our common goal is to grow African agriculture then fora such as we are …

How caring for soils fights climate change & increases yields

December 17th, 2015 / Can we feed the world, UK

Improved land management can help farmers adapt and has important co-benefits for mitigation. Globally, the soil contains about 1500Gt of organic carbon, more than double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and three times that in plants, animals and micro-organisms combined. The cumulative historic loss from ploughing and mining …