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Agriculture should be driven by standards – ARSO

June 27th, 2015 / Leadership, Nigeria

The ARSO president and director-general of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, explained the advantage of adopting good standardisation and conformity assessment regimes is that they lead to creation of new technologies in post-harvest processing and storage that improve safety and avoid spoilage. Odumodu argued that a …

The GM dilemma: swaying a wary public

June 27th, 2015 / New York Times, US

Scientists and laymen have very different opinions about genetic modification, typically done to boost yields or strengthen resistance to herbicides or insect damage. In a recent survey, 88 per cent of scientists vouched for the safety of G.M. foods, dwarfing the 11 percent who considered them unsafe. But among the …

Bio-solution to tomato disease

June 26th, 2015 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

As seed companies across the globe are battling to produce a tomato variety resistant to tuta absoluta, the suspected disease currently ravaging tomato farms, a Nigerian agro firm has said that there is no cause for alarm as they have readily available improved varieties and bio-treatments that can effectively mitigate …

Oyster mushroom grown in dry conditions with recycled ag waste

June 26th, 2015 / allafrica.com

A North West University Masters student has cultivated oyster mushrooms, typically grown in subtropical regions, in the dry Mahikeng conditions with the leftover residue from crop harvests. The South African university hails Sydwell Sihlangu’s work, supervised by Dr Khosi Ramachela, as a leap forward in the innovative low-cost production of …

Soiless seed germination technology tames disease spread

June 26th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

A company in Kenya is pioneering the planting of seeds without using soil by using an organic planting medium made from coconut husk, ridding the seeds off diseases, ensuring transplanting is done with all roots intact and guaranteeing a 90 per cent germination rate. Read …

The Zero Hunger Challenge: a road map for eradicating world hunger

June 25th, 2015 / New York Times, US

Zero Hunger “is a challenge and it’s a hope,” said Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank, a US research and advocacy organization. “It gives us a concrete framework so we can get to a situation where everyone is well fed. I think that’s a realizable goal over the next 50 …

Tanzania: Iringa – a sparkling jewel for farmers

June 25th, 2015 / Tanzania Daily News

Almost all residents in Iringa Region earn their living from agriculture and livestock rearing. Agriculture has, so far, ensured food security. Small-holder and large-scale farmers produce surpluses of maize, which is the major food crop grown in the region. Other crops of economic importance, include paddy, wheat, sweet potatoes, round …

Has the media failed Ghanaians on the GM debate?

June 25th, 2015 / Ghana Web

The raging debate over whether Ghana should accept Genetically Modified Foods (GM Foods) into the country’s food chain continues unabated. It has been contentious, and clouded with a lot of emotions and anti imperialism talk, which has not helped steer the conversation to allow for Ghanaians to make informed decisions …

New hybrid finger millet released by Addis Ababa University

June 24th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Cultivation of finger millet has over time been on a free fall in Ethiopia despite the immense nutritional benefits the crop has to humans. In most instances farmers have cited a lack of buoyant breeds. Now scientists have offered farmers a solution through provision of hybrid breeds. The scientists from …

Wild tobacco may contain key to attaining food security

June 24th, 2015 / Crop Biotech Update, US

Researchers have obtained the RDR1 gene from a wild tobacco plant (Nicotiana benthamiana). RDR1 gene controls the viral response of N. benthamiana strains in different viral infections. This development can be applied to crops such as potato, tomato, capsicum, and eggplant. View …