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Global GM crops reduced farm chemical usage and CO2 emissions in 2016 boom year

May 9th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Examining the benefits of biotechnology, ISAAA reports that the adoption of biotech crops has reduced CO2 emissions equal to removing approximately 12 million cars from the road annually in recent years; conserved biodiversity by removing 19.4 million hectares of land from agriculture in 2015; and decreased the environmental impact with …

“Africa must start by treating agriculture as a business”, says AfDB president

May 9th, 2017 / African Business

No region of the world has ever moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, which contributes 16.2% of the GDP of Africa, and gives some form of employment to over 60% of the population, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation …

Armyworm invasion forces Ghana to declare agricultural state of emergency

May 9th, 2017 / Face2FaceAfrica

The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, asked the Ghanaian Parliament to declare an “agricultural state of emergency” in the country as the current armyworm invasion jeopardizes agriculture as a source of food and income.
In a memo addressed to the Cabinet Monday, Akoto called on Parliament to allow the …

Agronomist urges farmers to commit to weed control to prevent herbicide resistance

May 8th, 2017 / Phys.org

Farmers faced with tight profit margins may consider cutting back on weed control efforts this growing season, but an Iowa State University agronomist said doing so may cost farmers money in the long term.
Robert Hartzler, a professor of agronomy and ISU Extension and Outreach weed expert, said low commodity prices …

Africa’s subsistence-minded farmers should become commercially-minded

May 8th, 2017 / How we made it in Africa

The vast majority of food produced in Africa is grown by small-scale farmers. Most of these farmers live in poverty and are only able to produce enough to feed their families. As a result, they are not able to use agriculture to lift themselves out of poverty or to increase …

Tackling hidden hunger – biofortification

May 8th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Back in the 60s, the Green Revolution changed the way we looked at food, both in terms of growing and eating. The focus was simply this — to increase production of staples so no one would go hungry.
Today, most of us do get enough to eat, in terms of calories, …

How ancient crops could counteract climate change effects

May 7th, 2017 / Phys.org

Farmers who grow single crops are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but now researchers are resurrecting ancient crop varieties to encourage diversity and offset the risks of extreme weather.
Intensively growing single crops for commercial purposes is the most common farming practice in Europe. These so-called cash crops …

Huge opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness for graduate African youths

May 7th, 2017 / AfDB.org

There are huge business opportunities for graduated African youths in agriculture and agribusiness. That’s was the consensus of the two-day African Youth Agripreneurs Forum held in Ibadan, Nigeria, from April 25-26, 2017.
However, helping African youths to invest in agricultural production and the agricultural value chain is all too often discussed …

If we develop Africa’s bioeconomy it will be as transformative for us as digital has been

May 7th, 2017 / Quartz Africa

The late 20th century was a period of unprecedented advancement in information and communications technology. The rapid adoption of mobile phones in Africa laid the groundwork for a digital economy.
According to a new study by the Stockholm Environment Institute, Creating Sustainable Bioeconomies: The Bioscience Revolution in Europe and Africa, new …

Secrets of tea plant revealed by science

May 5th, 2017 / BBC, UK

Botanists have unlocked the genetic secrets of the plant prized for producing tea.
A team in China has decoded the genetic building blocks of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, whose leaves are used for all types of tea, including black, green and oolong.
The research gives an insight into the chemicals that …