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IRRI opens regional office in Africa

October 3rd, 2018 / World-Grain.com

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) opened a new regional office in Nairobi to help Africa boost rice productivity and self-sufficiency.
The office was inaugurated by Professor Hamadi Boga, Principal Secretary, Kenyan State Department of Agriculture Research, who was represented by Margaret Makelo; Jim Godfrey, chairman of the board of trustees and …

CRISPR tames the wild ground cherry

October 2nd, 2018 / Boyce Thompson Institute

The groundcherry (Physalis pruinosa) is approximately the same size as a cherry tomato, but with a much sweeter flavor. The tropical-tasting fruit is also a powerhouse in terms of nutritional value. Packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin B, beta-carotene, phytosterols, and antioxidants, plus anti-inflammatory and medicinal properties, this tiny fruit might just …

We’ll only stop young African scientists from leaving if we help them fix these key problems at home

October 2nd, 2018 / Quartz Africa

Young African scientists face persistent barriers which cause them to leave their own countries, and even academia. This means the continent’s work force loses highly trained people who are crucial for scientific and technological advancement, and for economic development. A number of factors contribute to this trend, including a desire for higher pay, …

10 elements of agroecology that can guide us toward sustainable food systems

October 2nd, 2018 / FAO

Agroecology is both the concept and practice of managing and boosting nature’s own ecological processes to improve productivity and avoid farming griefs, such as pest infestation, disease or degradation. Focusing on plants, animals, humans, the environment and the system as a whole, agroecology is a science and a social response, …

Kenyan entrepreneur wins global award for increasing farmers’ yields with solar energy

October 1st, 2018 / FarmBiz Africa

Dysmus Kisilu, a Kenyan entrepreneur has won a Progress Award in recognition of his efforts in providing smallholder farmers especially from rural Kenya with solar-powered agricultural tools and services upping their production. Kisilu is the founder of Solar Gel, a company that provides small Kenyan farms with renewable energy services to …

Global actions needed to combat fall armyworm

October 1st, 2018 / SciDevNet

Fighting fall armyworm requires global efforts as the pest could spread to more countries, warn scientists. Within the past two years, Fall armyworm has spread to 44 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, threatening the food security of about 200 million people who depend on maize as a staple food crop, experts say. The detection …

More than a thousand vegetables, many of them forgotten

October 1st, 2018 / Biodiversity International

World diets are becoming more similar and based on fewer crops. A much greater diversity of vegetables exists in traditional food systems, but many of these crops are poorly integrated in current markets and diets. A recent study by Bioversity International scientists in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization …

Nigeria: Kebbi records bumper millet harvest

September 28th, 2018 / AllAfrica

Millet farmers in Kebbi State are excited over the bumper harvest they recorded this year. Though harvesting of the crop is still ongoing at various farm in the state, many of the farmers are already counting their blessings over the bountiful harvest. Read …

Living Planet: Is climate change to blame for extreme weather in Africa?

September 28th, 2018 / DW

Drought in the Horn of Africa, flooding in East Africa, mudslides in Sierra Leone, snow in high altitude areas of the Sahara Desert. Superstorms, heatwaves, hail storms, high winds. Africa is battling with extreme weather, which is impacting its food security and affecting its poorest citizens the most. But to …

What CRISPR gene editing has taught us about the GMO debate

September 28th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

After decades of special interest groups raising unwarranted fears and misrepresenting every aspect of so-called “GMOs”, opponents of innovation in plant and animal breeding are adding a new under-the-bed-monster to the mythical menagerie.  This one is called “gene editing” aka “GE,” and it seems the topic is everywhere these days. …