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Blue-green algae promises to boost yields of important food crops

September 12th, 2018 / ISAAA

Scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) have engineered tiny carbon-capturing engines from blue-green algae into plants. This breakthrough promises to help boost the yields of important food crops such as wheat, cowpeas, and cassava. Read …

Africa rising: the pace of advancement has quickened

September 12th, 2018 / Agri-Pulse

 
Since the last African agriculture forum in Ethiopia, over 400 new crop varieties of hybrid seeds have been certified and are being shared with farmers. While yields are up across the board, progress has been very significant in Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Ghana. Read …

Take a look at some of the billions of organisms that keep our soil healthy

September 11th, 2018 / Ensia

Soil is filled with more biological diversity than any other habitat on Earth. Its food web consists not only of worms and beetles and other well-known, easily visible animals, but also microscopic organisms from bacteria to fungi to protists. They all play a vital role in keeping soil healthy. Read …

Embracing biotech crops and why Nigeria’s GMO fight is far from over

September 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

When examining Nigeria’s potential to step into an agricultural leadership role in the region, it’s important to consider what it took to get this far — as well as the forces that long opposed GMOs throughout that nation, writes bioinformaticist Abraham Isah. Read …

Hunger is on the rise, according to FAO’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World

September 11th, 2018 / FAO

For the third year in a row, there has been a rise in world hunger. The absolute number of undernourished people, i.e. those facing chronic food deprivation, has increased to nearly 821 million in 2017, from around 804 million in 2016. These are levels from almost a decade ago. Read …

Invest in typical agricultural institutions – Prof Nhamo

September 10th, 2018 / The Observer, Uganda

Uganda needs to open up more agricultural universities and tailor the studies in line with the country’s needs if the sector is to continue being the backbone for the economy, a South African professor has said.
Prof Godwell Nhamo, the chief researcher and lecturer at the University of South Africa (UNISA), …

World Bank pours hundreds of millions into African science

September 10th, 2018 / Nature, UK

A World Bank scheme aimed at building grassroots research capacity in Africa will nearly double its budget with a third, and probably final, investment worth at least US$280 million. The initiative, which loans money to African governments, has set up 46 education and research centres in 17 African countries, created …

Agriculture is the way out for Africa – Rockefeller Foundation

September 10th, 2018 / MoneyWeb, South Africa

Africa spent about $35 billion on food imports in 2016, and projections show that if left unchecked, the continent’s food import bill could to surge to $110 billion by 2025.
It’s a perplexing situation, given the continent’s stature as home to 50% of the world’s cultivatable land. How can the continent …

New initiative to boost smallholders’ climate resilience in the Horn of Africa

September 7th, 2018 / ReliefWeb

Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have held the inception workshop for a new project that aims to buttress the capacities of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to adapt and be more resilient …

UN calls emergency meeting over African swine fever as China confirms ninth case

September 7th, 2018 / Daily Telegraph, UK

The United Nations has called an emergency meeting of animal disease experts amid fears African swine fever (ASF) is set to sweep through Asia and devastate pig farming.
China on Wednesday confirmed its ninth case of the highly infectious disease since it was first spotted in the country a month ago …