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New menacing cassava pest identified in West and Central Africa

May 25th, 2018 / African Science News

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
Originating from the tropical regions of the Americas the fall armyworm (FAW) adult has a remarkable capacity for long distance migration and high female fertility. Its crop-destroying caterpillars can cause serious damage to maize but also to …

Talking Biotech: What’s keeping disease-resistant GMO bananas from Ugandan farmers?

May 25th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

POD CAST
Those that live in the affluent countries of the West have little clue of the challenges of farming in the Developing World. In this special episode, Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California Davis interviews three experts that understand food security in their respective countries. Emma Naluyima …

Musa project develops hybrids of local Tanzanian cooking banana “Mchare”

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

The banana breeding team at IITA in partnership with the national research team in Tanzania, has developed hybrids of one of the most popular cooking bananas in Tanzania and part of the East African Highland cooking banana called “Mchare.” These hybrids were bred with disease-resistant wild bananas and are high …

New pest identified in West and Central Africa!

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
This introduced second armyworm species from the Americas was first found in cassava fields in south-eastern Nigeria in December 2016, reported Dr Georg Goergen, Entomologist/Biocontrol Specialist and Head of IITA’s Biodiversity Center in Bénin. Its presence was …

These CRISPR-modified crops don’t count as GMOs

May 23rd, 2018 / The Conservation

Yi Li, Professor of Plant Science, University of Connecticut, writes:
To feed the burgeoning human population, it is vital that the world figures out ways to boost food production.
Increasing crop yields through conventional plant breeding is inefficient – the outcomes are unpredictable and it can take years to decades to create …

GM potato can help cut pesticide use by up to 90%

May 23rd, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A new study conducted by a team of scientists from Wageningen University & Research and Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority reveals that a potato variety genetically engineered to resist potato blight can help reduce the use of chemical fungicides by up to 90 percent. The approach uses …

Genetically modified foods and the search for food security In Nigeria

May 23rd, 2018 / Nigeria News.net

A maize farmer somewhere in Northern Nigeria is observing his crops. He couldn’t help but be amazed at the performance of the crops this planting season.
All things being equal, he is going to have his best harvest in a long time. This is in spite of the fact this has …

Why Nigeria is adopting GMOs – Official

May 22nd, 2018 / Premium Times, Nigeria

Rose Gidado is the Scientific Officer and Assistant Director of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA). She is also the country coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa.
GM foods have been heavily criticised for their long term health effects and other demerits. However, in this interview …

Underestimated microscopic problem for coffee crops

May 22nd, 2018 / Technology Networks

The plants which produce one of the most popular drinks in the world, coffee, are targeted by a microscopic worm, but scientists are fighting back.
An underestimated problem in coffee farming, the parasite has been found in soil samples across the coffee growing world thanks to a new and quick detection …

Six ways Africa can unlock its agricultural potential

May 22nd, 2018 / How we made Africa

Agriculture holds the key to broad-based economic growth, poverty reduction and food security in sub-Saharan Africa. This is according to Deutsche Bank senior analyst Claire Schaffnit-Chatterjee, in her report on agriculture for the bank. Read this excerpt that looks at how sub-Saharan Africa can unlock its agricultural potential.” Read …