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Gene editing in agriculture: Disclosure, communication and transparency critical to public acceptance

April 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Communication is critical around the topic of gene-editing, an emerging technology that involves making precise changes in the genetic material of plants and animals used in food production to improve food safety, reduce food waste and use less water, land and other resources.
“Consumers are going to ask, ‘Is this safe?’ …

Agripreneurship deserves as much buzz as supposedly sexier, urban-based sectors

April 12th, 2018 / Huffpost, South Africa

South Africa or Africa at large should seek to be the place that gives us the Steve Jobs of agriculture, to tackle major challenges the continent faces in terms of economic growth, food security and the present threat of climate change. This is particularly important in the sensitive debate over …

Tanzania: new maize seeds impress farmers as yields improve

April 12th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The Commission for Science and Technology (Costech) in cooperation with Ilonga Agricultural Research Institute have produced water-efficient maize seeds under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (Wema) project.
Trials have been made and Isamilo villagers at Kamwanga Ward in Geita District are happy with results.
Their Muungano Group was given Wema 2109 …

Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops

April 12th, 2018 / John Innes Centre, UK

A new study has isolated a gene controlling shape and size of spikelets in wheat in a breakthrough which could help breeders deliver yield increases in one of the world’s most important crops.
The team from the John Innes Centre say the underlying genetic mechanism they have found is also …

Hybridisation and the new frontier against spread of global pests

April 11th, 2018

IT’S the stuff of science fiction. Hybridisation of two caterpillars in Brazil confirmed through extensive genomic testing by CSIRO researchers.
But it’s real and will enable the international agricultural community to stay ahead in the race to combat the megapest.
Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the cotton bollworm and …

Vaccines for plants? RNA spray could help protect crops from pests and disease

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Novel technologies are being sought to replace the traditional pesticides used to protect plants, particularly edible plants such as cereals. A new collaborative project between the University of Helsinki and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is shedding light on the efficacy of environmentally friendly RNA-based vaccines that …

New guide for young entrepreneurs working to modernise agriculture through ICT

April 11th, 2018 / CTA

A guidebook designed for young people interested in developing e-agriculture businesses in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries was launched on 26 April 2017.
Published by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), An ICT Agripreneurship Guide – A Path to Success for Young ACP Entrepreneurs seeks to help …

Potential of GMOs to combat crop diseases converting skeptical Ugandan politicians

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Ugandan banana breeders at Kawanda have improved local banana varieties to resist the devastating banana bacterial wilt.
Potato breeders at Kachwekano in partnership with International Centre for Potato have improved the locally grown Victoria Potato variety to resist late blight disease so that potato farmers will not have to buy fungicides.
Cassava …

Agricultural guide on a phone helps increase developing-world farmers’ yields

April 10th, 2018 / FastCompany.com

When Kenyan farmers need to know whether to take their cows to the vet, they can now just ask their phones. Using a popular new service called DigiFarm, they can use their phones to get simple information that will let them determine if their cow is infected with mastitis (a …

Agroecology’s potential to transform food systems for the better

April 10th, 2018 / BizCommunity Africa

According to FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the second International Agroecology Symposium, agroecology can contribute to healthier and more sustainable food systems. “We need to promote a transformative change in the way that we produce and consume food. We need to put forward sustainable food systems that offer …