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CRISPR might be the banana’s only hope against a deadly fungus

September 25th, 2019 / Nature, UK

The race to engineer the next-generation banana is on. The Colombian government confirmed last month that a banana-killing fungus has invaded the Americas — the source of much of the world’s banana supply. The invasion has given new urgency to efforts to create fruit that can withstand the scourge.

Scientists are …

India and China top hot spots of antimicrobial resistance in animals

September 25th, 2019 / SciDev.net

Asian giants China and India must take immediate steps to preserve antibiotics essential for human medicine by restricting their use in the livestock industry, recommends an author of a new study on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The study, published on 20 September in Science assessed the development of drug-resistant pathogens in developing countries. It found hot spots of …

Africa experiencing rise in antimicrobial resistance

September 25th, 2019 / Africa Science News

An international team of researchers led by ETH has shown that antimicrobial-resistant infections are rapidly increasing in animals in Africa. They produced the first global of resistance rates and identified regions where interventions are urgently needed. Read more …

Boosting farmer incomes in agricultural supply chains

September 24th, 2019 / Stanford Social Innovation Review

In the Ugandan coffee sector, smallholder farmers are starting to get a better deal. There, since 2003, a network of coffee cooperatives called the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) has been empowering smallholders to maintain ownership over the coffee they grow all the way through the value chain, …

The next agricultural revolution is here

September 24th, 2019 / Science News

As a growing population and climate change threaten food security, researchers around the world are working to overcome the challenges that threaten the dietary needs of humans and livestock. A pair of scientists is now making the case that the knowledge and tools exist to facilitate the next agricultural revolution …

Rural livelihoods, food security and rural transformation under climate change

September 24th, 2019 / ReliefWeb

Our thesis is that transformational change in rural livelihoods is needed for climate change adaptation, that this change needs to embrace the broader food system, and that these actions can have benefits in multiple dimensions beyond climate change adaptation: poverty, nutrition, employment and the environment. If transformational change is to …

Uganda: GMO regulation will hinder food security

September 23rd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

One of the major farming debates in the local media recently has been the second rejection of the GE Regulation Bill by President Museveni. He raised a number of issues in the document including requiring lawmakers to review the use of poisonous and dangerous viruses and bacteria, …

Biofortification: a case of sweet potatoes

September 23rd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes:

Hidden hunger is caused by a chronic lack of critical vitamins and minerals that puts children and adults at increased risk of stunting, anaemia, blindness, infectious diseases and even death. 

Experts state that one in three people globally suffer from hidden hunger and women and children are …

The mega-pests of Africa and their economic effect

September 23rd, 2019 / Farmers Review Africa

Typical to agrarian economies, the African economy is heavily dependent on agriculture.

One may wonder; “with over 50% of its population involved in agriculture, why the agricultural economic results are so low?”

In a previous article, I had already addressed the fundamental reasons that cerate’s the agricultural pest control difficulties in Africa …

Viewpoint: Activist myth-making, anti-science lobbying undermine Uganda’s path to food security

September 20th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

At the end of August, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni rejected for the second time a proposed biosafety bill that would have granted farmers access to  genetically engineered (GE) crops. Summing up his skepticism of the legislation, Museveni argued in a letter to parliament that

[S]cientific inventions may cause harm to humans and that, this …