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African reality show trains youths in farming

February 14th, 2018 / Christian Science Monitor,

The TV show aims to challenge prejudices surrounding farming-related careers to prove that agriculture can be fun and profitable by giving young people in Kenya and Tanzania plots of land to cultivate with a cash prize for the most productive.
As a student, Leah Wangari imagined a glamorous life as a …

How toxic is the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup?

February 14th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world’s most widely used herbicide, Roundup, is arguably also one of the most contentious. Mass protests erupted in Europe last November after the European Commission, following much discussion, granted a five-year extension for the license to use glyphosate in agriculture in the E.U.
Farmers have …

Will new regulations stifle innovation in plant and animal breeding?

February 14th, 2018 / Agri-pulse, US

Gene editing is touted as a promising new way of altering the DNA of plants or animals to speed their growth, enhance flavor, extend shelf life or combat viruses. But those who see it as a key component of agriculture’s future want to make sure that the regulations written for …

I Didn’t Think There Were Many African Women Scientists. Then …

February 12th, 2018 / NPR

Recently, an online survey asked me to name African women scientists I admired. I found myself struggling — even though I’m a Kenyan entomologist, researching sustainable ways to feed our expanding population amid a changing climate. I thought to myself, why are there so few of us?
I was wrong: We …

Zambia among three African countries targeted by Japan for agricultural development

February 12th, 2018 / Lusaka Times, Zambia

Japan says Zambia will be among the three African countries it is targeting for its Agricultural development programme.
Japanese Parliamentary vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Manabu Horii says apart from Zambia , his government has picked Kenya and Senegal because of the vast agriculture potential in the three African countries.
“Japan has …

Scientists are on a mission to save chocolate

February 12th, 2018 / MACH

For people who love sweets, 2018 started on a sour note: Headlines claimed that cacao, the tropical tree whose beans contain the raw ingredients for chocolate, was on the brink of extinction as a result of climate change.
As with many sensational stories, this one turned out to be inaccurate. Cacao …

Morocco’s OCP Africa: blueprint for an African Green Revolution?

February 9th, 2018 / Morocco World News

The role of agriculture in economic development cannot be overstated. In fact, there seems to be, in the literature of development studies, an overwhelming consensus on the centrality of agriculture in achieving sustainable economic development.
In sub-Saharan Africa, however, policymakers and other stakeholders have, so far, been frustratingly failing to satisfy …

How we can help hungry kids, one text at a time

February 9th, 2018 / TED.com

WATCH Su Kahumbu who raises badass cows — healthy, well-fed animals whose protein is key to solving a growing crisis in Africa: childhood nutritional stunting. With iCow, a simple SMS service she developed to support small-scale livestock farmers, the TED Fellow is helping farmers across the continent by texting them …

Cassava coalition calls for transformation of cassava in Africa

February 9th, 2018 / Dispatch, Uganda

The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) has called on policy makers and donors to support the transformation of the Cassava crop in Africa.
The call made ahead of the international conference on cassava comes amidst concern over the decline in harvests per acre of cassava in Africa compared …

Study suggests root microbiome key to drought resistant plants

February 8th, 2018 / University of Toronto, Canada

Just as the micro-organisms in our gut are increasingly recognized as important players in human health and behaviour, micro-organisms are critical to the growth and health of plants, a new study by a University of Toronto researcher has found.
For example, plants that are able to recruit particular bacteria to their …