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Stop the talk, get youths involved in agriculture

November 26th, 2019 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The Federal Government and states have been advised to stop the talk and put infrastructure, enabling the environment and necessary investments in place to harness the intelligence, vigour, and vibrancy of Nigerian youths in agriculture.

Harnessing them in agriculture would create job opportunities, social-economic benefits and make Nigeria food-secure. Professor Chidi …

Agricultural universities need greater investment

November 25th, 2019 / University World News

Urgent and considerable investment is needed if African agricultural and life sciences universities are to reach their potential, according to Professor Adipala Ekwamu, executive secretary of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

Speaking to University World News ahead of the 15th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place at the University …

CRISPR, disease-sensing technologies could yield a ‘cornucopia’ of healthier, tastier foods

November 25th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Consumers may soon begin purchasing fun-sized fruits and vegetables, as well as processed foods that incorporate healthier ingredients …. And producers may be able to grow crops that are drought- and flood-tolerant, yield more per acre, and are easier to harvest and transport—and are tastier, more nutritious, and less allergenic, …

Key steps in curbing aflatoxin in maize

November 25th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Aflatoxin is a fungal polyketide secondary metabolite caused by two main fungi; Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, both of which produce four types of aflatoxins; aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2. Aflatoxin B1 is the most common and can be carcinogenic if the toxicity level exceeds the set thresholds. 

Maize is …

Europe-banned insecticide ‘threatens Africa’s food security’

November 22nd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Scientists are calling on African policymakers to act urgently to control the use of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which threaten the wider ecosystem and food security, and have been banned by the European Union.

Neonicotinoids are nicotine-like insecticides that are used in plant protection products to fight harmful insects.

Previous studies by the European Academies’ …

Bangladesh could be the first to cultivate golden rice, genetically altered to fight blindness

November 22nd, 2019 / Science Magazine, US

Soon. That has long been scientists’ answer when asked about the approval of golden rice, a genetically modified (GM) crop that could help prevent childhood blindness and deaths in the developing world. Ever since golden rice first made headlines nearly 20 years ago, it has been a flashpoint in debates …

Rice yields could plummet 40% by 2100 due to climate change

November 22nd, 2019 / Down to Earth

Global yields of rice, the world’s largest staple food crop, could plummet by as much as 40 per cent by 2100, affecting two billion people, a new study by Stanford University in the United States has said.

The plummeting of the yields would be caused by increasing temperatures. Moreover, changes in …

Will following the regulatory script for GMOs promote public acceptance of gene-edited crops?

November 21st, 2019 / Science and Society

Risk-disproportionate regulation of gene-edited crops has been proposed to gain public acceptance for this breeding technique. However, confounding safety regulations with advocacy for an underlying technology risks weakening achievement of both objectives. Dedicated factual communication and education from trusted sources is likely to better support public acceptance of gene-edited crops. …

The business of farming: How digitalisation is bringing Africa’s youth back into agriculture

November 21st, 2019 / CTA, Netherlands

Michael Hailu, Director of CTA, writes:

They say that the future belongs to the young. In Africa, the future of the continent’s agriculture almost certainly belongs to its youth. More than 60% of Africans are under 25, and every year, 10-12 million young people enter the job market in search of …

GM foods: the battle for Africa

November 21st, 2019 / Africa Business Magazine

A combination of climate change, population growth and regional conflict has created the worst food crisis across Africa since 1945, according to aid agency World Relief.

In 2018, the African countries suffering the worst food shortages due to declining harvests driven by drought were, in order of severity, Democratic Republic of Congo, …