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A byte at a time: Africa’s progress towards a digital agriculture future

November 19th, 2019 / The Africa Report

Over the past two decades, Africa has overcome multiple obstacles to economic growth and eradicating poverty, registering a widespread progress. The gradual transformation of Africa’s food systems has been key to this process, but to sustain and accelerate growth – particularly in the face of demographic changes, urbanization, shifting diets, …

Leaked document suggests EU may relax its strict CRISPR-edited crop regulations

November 19th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The European Commission plans to create specific legislation to facilitate the production of genetically edited crops, following the July 2018 European Court of Justice decision that gene-edited crops should be regulated as GMOs. The Community Executive is considering developing a “new framework appropriate to the new genomic techniques”, as it …

Africa: investors back global online market-place for ethical, green farmers

November 19th, 2019 / AllAfrica

The platform aims to help helps developing-nation farmers who are using green and ethical methods to earn more by linking them directly with food buyers around the world

A former investment banker has raised more than $10 million to expand a startup that helps developing-nation farmers who are using green and …

Egypt starts establishing fish, animal farms in 4 African countries

November 18th, 2019 / Egypt Today

In an attempt to enhance the competitive ability of the African countries’ produce and their economic development, the Ministry of Agriculture has established joint model farms with African countries. The project aims to carry out joint agricultural research to increase agricultural productions in Africa. Read more … …

Launching digital agro-climate advisory platform in Ethiopia

November 18th, 2019 / AllAfrica

There was a time when traditional ecological knowledge was enough. When ancestral wisdom guided communities to sense the moods of the rains, the temperaments of the winds, the hidden messages of the clouds. Through these interpretations of nature, farming communities could foretell times of planting, times of abundance and times …

GMO technology is in Uganda’s interests

November 18th, 2019 / PML Daily

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

We should remember that Modern biotechnology is not only about Genetic Modification (GMO) or Genetic Engineering (GE) which the Parliamentary Forum for Ethics and Integrity seems to be vehemently opposed to. Nor is it, really, about ethics and integrity.

Biotechnology is described by scientists as a …

Redesigning photosynthesis in key crops could help sustain global food production

November 15th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists have solved the structure of one of the key components of photosynthesis, a discovery that could lead to photosynthesis being ‘redesigned’ to achieve higher yields and meet urgent food security needs.

The study, led by the University of Sheffield and published [Nov. 13] in the journal Nature, reveals the structure of cytochrome b6f …

VIDEO: CRISPR Technology and Its Potential to Transform Agriculture

November 15th, 2019 / FAO

Genetic tools like CRISPR can help reduce pesticide use, pollution and boost food production without employing more land and water, natural resources increasingly strained by the growing food demand of expanding populations in the developing world. View video of the panel …

New gene-edited canola variety resists deadly disease, expected to drastically boost crop yields

November 15th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Three new traits for canola, which can increase crop yields and reduce harmful environmental impacts, has been developed by Cibus, a biotechnology company that has pioneered precision gene editing for agriculture. The new traits pertain to pod shatter, resistance to Sclerotinia, and weed control.

The new traits precisely edit the canola genome to reduce pod shatter, the tendency …

Scientists develop biodegradable plastic from cassava starch

November 14th, 2019 / SciDev.net

A team of scientists in Brazil has developed a biodegradable plastic that could be used for food packaging or carrier bags, by applying ozone gas to cassava starch.

The ozone (O3) gas changes the molecular properties of the starch from the root vegetable to produce a bioplastic 30 per cent tougher than those …