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Soil project seeks to soak up excess carbon

December 14th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

France is leading a worldwide push to increase the amount of carbon locked in soils through better farming practices. Supporters of an initiative launched at the COP 21 summit say this would limit global warming by removing carbon from the atmosphere, while also increasing the range and amount of food …

WHO reveals scale of foodborne disease

December 14th, 2015 / SciDev.net

Africa and Asia have the highest health burden from foodborne diseases of any region, according to the WHO’s first ever estimates of the global impact of such diseases. Eating food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins and chemicals kills around 420,000 people a year around the world, including 125,000 children …

Adaptation is key if Africa is to tackle climate change

December 10th, 2015 / The Conversation

The current and projected severe impacts of climate change in Africa make adaptation an urgent priority. While reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a vital task, adaptation to the impacts of climate change is needed now as well as the next few decades. But adaptation faces many challenges: institutional, technical, political, …

The genetic revolution could curb world hunger and pesticide use

December 10th, 2015 / Huffington Post

Over the past year or so, researchers around the world have begun using a new gene-editing technique that has the potential to help stop world hunger, end the use of pesticides and improve our health. CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to change, delete or replace DNA more easily than ever before. Theoretically, …

Is food security breaking through in Paris climate talks?

December 10th, 2015 / Huffington Post

The latest news from Paris is cautiously optimistic that we will have an agreement by Friday. What does it mean for agriculture and food security? Although the French government has shown great leadership championing agriculture at COP21, it is not yet really on the table for the negotiators. The good …

Stakeholders seek ways to improve agricultural financing in Uganda

December 9th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru

Access to finance is critical to agricultural and rural transformation in African countries, but agricultural financing is often termed a “policy orphan” due to how rarely policy framework is dedicated to it, as well as lack of coordination among stakeholders. Now, development partners Making Finance Work for Africa and CAADP …

Uganda: Growing bio-fortified crops for better nutrition

December 9th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali

Farmers in Rakai District marked a belated World Food Day on December 1 with particular emphasis on growing bio-fortified food crops to combat malnutrition.
A farmers’ exhibition displayed the biofortified sweet potatoes and beans they produce, products such as cakes and chapatis made from the sweet potato flour – as well …

On World Soil Day, scientists warn of underground extinction risks

December 8th, 2015 / Science

It’s time for ecologists and conservation biologists to better understand the threats facing soil creatures key to healthy ecosystems and our food supply. Some studies have documented local extinctions of earthworms and wood-decomposing fungi because of species invasions or changing environmental conditions. Now, a suite of new tools, including advanced …

Study: Crop biotechnology essential to feeding more people on same arable land

December 8th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project

Looking at trends from large sets of data on population, resources and food production shows there are good reasons to be optimistic about our ability to meet the food requirements of the projected 9-10 billion people on our planet by the middle of this century. It also appears we are …

Fighting witchweed in sub-Saharan Africa

December 8th, 2015 / African Farming

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has approved funding of US$1.5mn for research to eradicate a destructive weed in sub-Saharan Africa. Funding from the foundation is going to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which will conduct scientific research towards eradicating the Striga hermonthica weed that affects croplands throughout …