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What place for agricultural innovation at COP-21?

December 3rd, 2015 / Devex

Those who feed the world are already carrying the burden of climate change. Drought, floods and extreme weather events are adversely affecting smallholder farmers on every continent, causing hunger, poverty, death, and putting future food security in jeopardy. But as Paris negotiations begin in earnest, how much attention and resources …

Uganda: Farmers, scientists, policy makers discuss climate-smart agriculture

December 3rd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali

Farmers and agriculture officers from various districts participated in a three-day-conference in which they interacted with policy makers, scientists, and researchers. The conference, whose theme was “Advancing Agro-biosciences and Innovations for Climate Smart Agriculture”, was held 22-25 November at Makerere University, and addressed food insecurity, nutrition, and crop diseases.
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OPINION | To feed the world in 2050 will require a global revolution

December 2nd, 2015 / PNAS

Achieving universal food security is a staggering challenge. Large population size, high per capita consumption, and inequality of wealth or income can each (and especially in combination) impede attempts to achieve progressive and effective policies that will be needed to reverse the trend toward persistent maldistribution and environmental degradation. But …

How African countries are addressing soil infertility

December 2nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru

Farmers in Africa are faced with a number of challenges that lead to infertile soils, which in turn affect farm productivity. Stakeholders from the public and private sectors are partnering to sensitise farmers on how they can keep soils fertile for improved agricultural production.
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University-made Roundup Ready seeds ready for market

December 1st, 2015 / Harvet Public Media, US

After the patent on one of the most popular versions of genetically engineered soybeans expired this year, U.S. universities are creating new generic GMO soybean varieties, many of which are designed to guard against specific, local pests. Ninety percent of soybean seeds planted in the U.S. are genetically engineered …

Climate change threat to food security in Nigeria – Buhari

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that climate change poses a threat to food security in Nigeria as extreme events such as flooding and drought are on the increase. Stating Nigeria’s position yesterday at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) ongoing in Paris, France, he disclosed that such factors have …

What everyone should know about cut-and-paste genetics

December 1st, 2015 / Nature, UK

The ethics of human-genome editing is in the spotlight again as a large international meeting on the topic is poised to kick off in Washington DC. Ahead of the summit, which is being jointly organized by the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Medicine, the …

Tanzania gives farmers U.S.$36 million for inputs and improved seeds

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Tanzania has disbursed 2,999,778 vouchers for agriculture inputs worth $36.4 million (Tsh78.1 billion) to 999,993 farmers on the mainland so as to prepare for the new agricultural season 2015/2016. “The input subsidy vouchers have benefited many farmers of maize and rice crops by increasing production of these crops and …

Budget squeeze for South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council amid drought

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC), one of South Africa’s key weapons in the fight against the current drought, has seen its net surplus decline by 300% during 2014/2015. While still in the black the ARC has experienced a 300% decrease in its surplus from R137m to R34m for the …

Project embeds young African climate researchers

December 1st, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Back in the 1980s, African scientists contributed less than two per cent of the papers in global climate change publications. This dire situation remained the same for almost 30 years. Climate models and growing evidence suggest Africa is likely to feel some of the worst impacts of climate change. …