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New technologies show better details on GM plants

January 23rd, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from the Salk Institute used the latest DNAsequencing technologies to study exactly what happens at a molecular level when new genes are inserted into plants. Scientists usually rely on Agrobacterium tumefaciens when they want to put a new gene into a plant. Decades ago, scientists discovered that when the bacteria infected a tree, it …

Food security project supports model farmers in Ethiopia

January 23rd, 2019 / Addis Standard, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s agriculture is complex, involving substantial variation in crops grown across the country’s regions and ecologies. And although there has been significant growth in the cultivation of cereal crops over the last decade, by international standards, yields are low, and overall production is highly susceptible to weather shocks, such as …

Rural African communities to benefit from farm mechanisation

January 22nd, 2019 / The Citizen, South Africa

The objective is to offer ‘for-hire’ mechanisation services to small-holder farmers. 

Global agriculture company AGCO has launched an initiative to take farm mechanisation deep into rural communities in Africa to facilitate food security and unlock the potential of small-scale farming.

AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, unveiled the Farm …

Insect farming can reduce hunger and generate money

January 22nd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Of the hundreds of articles that I have written in the Daily Monitor since 1992, there is hardly any that has attracted as much public reaction as the one I wrote about Mr Deo Kiwanuka of Gulama Village, Buwunga Sub-county, in Masaka District. 

He is a beekeeper …

Scientists breeding new disease-resistant soybeans to crack down on parasitic nematode

January 22nd, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) [a common soybean pest] has overcome the main source of genetic resistance – PI 88788 – that accounts for 95% of resistance in SCN-resistant soybean varieties. Research scientists….have been developing new sources of genetic resistance and new SCN resistance management strategies.

Ultimately, the goal is to identify …

Drying groundnuts in ventilated stacks

January 21st, 2019 / Access Agriculture

Many farmers lose most of their crop due to poor drying techniques, shelling methods and poor storage. The ventilated stack method lets the sun hit the leaves allowing the groundnuts to dry slowly and properly.  The hole in the middle lets in air and a bit of sunlight for the …

Seed companies urged to educate farmers

January 21st, 2019 / The Chronicle, Zimbabwe

SEED companies and donors should educate farmers on seed varieties to ensure they grow the right crop suitable for their respective farming regions, an expert has said.

In an interview, Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FFU) president Mr Wonder Chabikwa said the majority of farmers were not formally trained at agriculture training …

Speed up seed policies harmonisation

January 21st, 2019 / SciDev.net

Delayed harmonisation of policies for encouraging the transfer of seeds across East and Southern Africa is hampering trade and increased agricultural growth, experts say.

The goal to harmonise seed trade resulted from having different policies across countries, thus impeding transfer technology to promote agriculture in the region. Harmonised seed policies ensure that countries with similar agricultural production …

How investment in irrigation is paying off for Ethiopia’s economy

January 18th, 2019 / MENAFN

After rapid economic growth averaging 10% every year between 2004 and 2014, Ethiopia has emerged as an engine of development in Africa. 

And there are no signs that ambitions for further growth are fading. This is clear from the government’s blueprint to achieve middle-income status – or gross national income of …

Wild coffee species threatened by climate change and deforestation

January 18th, 2019 / Nature, UK

Most of the world’s wild coffee species have a high chance of going extinct in the next several decades due to more frequent and lengthy droughts, loss of forests and the spread of deadly pests, according to a study1 published on 16 January in Science Advances. 

The findings signal a potential threat to …