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Insect threats to food security

September 3rd, 2018 / Science, US

Globally, one out of nine people suffers from chronic hunger, and undernourishment is growing. Global average surface temperatures are also rising and are projected to increase by 2° to 5°C this century, with negative impacts on agricultural production. Even today, despite substantial plant protection efforts, about one-third of crops are …

Nigeria at verge of agricultural revolution in Africa – Ghanaian lawmaker

August 31st, 2018 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

Addressing members of the Rice Assured Advocacy Forum (RAAF) in Abuja on Wednesday, Abraham Odoom, Ghanaian MP based his assessment on the gains recorded by the country in its rice value chain.
He spoke at the Second National Congress, Policy Dialogue and Inauguration of the Board of Trustees of the RAAF, …

Cowpea: A food and animal feed crop

August 31st, 2018 / Open Access Government

“Cowpea is a food and animal feed crop grown in the semi-arid tropics particularly the savannahs of West Africa but also other parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas. It originated in Southern Africa and the cultivated form was domesticated in West Africa.
“While it is a very important crop in …

Unleashing the power of women farmers in Africa, and beyond

August 31st, 2018 / TRT World

Kenya has set a small, but great, example of how governments on the African continent can empower women to realise the immense potential of agriculture on the continent.
The government of Kenya recently launched an affirmative action policy to preferentially award 30 percent of government ministry tenders to women-owned businesses in …

Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) a blessing or a curse?

August 30th, 2018 / Life Science Leader, US

Back in March of this year, a reader of Life Science Leader magazine submitted the above question for our popular monthly Ask The Board column. Started in our February 2011 issue, the column enables readers to submit questions, which are then posed to a member of Life Science Leader’s editorial …

CRISPR-Cas9 used to reduce symptoms of Cassava Brown Streak Disease

August 30th, 2018 / ISAAA

Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), which is caused by Cassava brown streak virus and Ugandan brown streak virus, interferes with successful cassava propagation in East and Central Africa. The disease is mediated by the interaction of these viruses with the viral genome-linked protein (VPg) and host eukaryotic translation initiation factor …

Scientists isolate first major resistance genes against wheat stripe rust disease

August 30th, 2018 / ISAAA

An international team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), John Innes Centre, Limagrain UK, and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) has isolated the first major resistance genes against stripe rust, a disease devastating wheat crops worldwide.
The scientists cloned three related …

Seeking medicine from the plants of Uganda

August 28th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Researchers have long looked to the plants of our world to solve many of the medical problems we face. But new technologies are rapidly opening new opportunities for those scientists.
And while much of those efforts are taking place in the US, Europe and China, that doesn’t …

Rice genes could be key to stemming nitrogen pollution

August 28th, 2018 / Scientific American

Rice, wheat and other grains that have been bred to produce larger harvests using less land have been critical to feeding Earth’s population in the past 50 years. But these crops come with a significant cost: Their thirst for the chemical nutrients in fertilizer contributes to pollution that threatens air, …

Small-scale horticulture project transforming lives in Kenya

August 28th, 2018 / AllAfrica

Kenya has one of the most dynamic and innovative economies in sub-Saharan Africa. A decade after going through a food crisis and in the aftermath of the drought in 2016-2017, the country aims to achieve self-sufficiency in food products such as maize, tomato, cabbage, rice, beans, milk and meat. This …