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Enhancing commercial cassava production

August 29th, 2017 / The Nation, Nigeria

Over 70 per cent of small-holder farmers are engaged in cassava production. A non-governmental organisation, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), is striving to ensure that commercial cassava farming is enhanced with mechanisation.
One of the goals of the project is to reduce rural poverty by using cassava value-chain to generate …

Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

August 29th, 2017 / Daily News, Tanzania

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties.
The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert.
Mostly grown by Tanzanian farmers, the varieties …

Seeds, not diamonds, will make Africa great

August 29th, 2017 / News Day, Zimbabwe

According to the US Geological Survey 2016, Sub- Saharan Africa produces 77% of the world’s platinum metals; 60% of its cobalt (used for batteries and metal alloys); 46% of its natural industrial diamonds; and an abundance of gold, uranium, oil and gas. Tragically, this immense mineral richness has not benefited …

Africa should harmonise agro-policies

August 24th, 2017 / Daily Mail, Zambia

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says African countries need to develop harmonised regional agricultural policies that promote investment in key resilient infrastructure to boost regional trade in agro-products.
The policies should also aim to mitigate climatic challenges.
COMESA climate change advisor Mclay Kanyangarara said strengthened regional integration measures …

Can epigenetics change the way we breed crops for drought and climate change?

August 24th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Crops that can withstand the ravages of climate change or resist killer diseases? Many already have been developed — including varieties of bananas, cassava, wheat and oranges — but they languish on laboratory shelves as their creators navigate the complex, and sometimes contradictory, regulations developed over the years to deal …

Viewpoint: Farmers not trapped into annually buying patented GMO seeds

August 24th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

There is one myth that often gets used as a criticism against genetic engineered crops. This myth usually takes the form of “I’m not anti-GMO, but farmers always used to save seeds, and the GMO companies have made it so that nobody can do that, and thus everyone is forced …

African women want greater land ownership rights

August 23rd, 2017 / News24.com

Influential women from across Africa converged for a conference in Pretoria last week, as they called for greater land ownership rights.
The conference, hosted by the Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign in association with the Urban CSO Cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) of UN-Habitat, focused on …

Newly elected government poised to open door to GMOs in Kenya

August 23rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Agriculture dominates Kenya’s economy.
Food security played a major role during the presidential campaign. The price of unga—our staple food of maize meal—had risen sharply, due in part to a bad drought. People were hungry and worried about what they would eat next. President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto have stressed …

What sub-Sahara can learn from India’s ‘Green revolution’: the good and the ba

August 23rd, 2017 / The Conversation

Sub-Saharan Africa has huge potential to become a global food basket, but it is far from being realised. The region is estimated to have 60% of the globally available and unexploited arable land yet it remains food deficient.
Even when arable land is cultivated, hurdles such as limited irrigation, small sized …

Farmers and scientists embrace Naro technologies

August 22nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
There are efforts by scientists in agricultural sector in Uganda to breed key crops using conventional and biotechnology mechanism in a bid for farmers to grow crops which are resistant to pests and diseases and tolerant to drought to achieve improved yields.
Scientists from the National Agricultural …