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Africa: UN drive to lift up poor farmers must focus on climate

February 11th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

A new push to give farmers in developing countries better access to markets, led by the United Nations’ food aid agency, could fall short of its goals if it does not prioritise helping poor farmers adapt to climate change, experts have warned. Aimed at boosting incomes and improving food …

UN FAO warns of threat to food security from overuse of antibiotics

February 11th, 2016 / UN News

The overuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents is impacting rural livelihoods and food security, and requires globally coordinated efforts, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today. “Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat that in this inter-connected world cannot be solved in Europe alone,” Ms. Semedo, FAO …

Epigenetically modified organisms: The coming EPO farming and food revolution?

February 10th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Agriculture around the world faces a myriad of problems: Pests, weeds, random and extreme weather, and drought, to name a few. While none of these issues are new, because of climate change in particular, several of them are being exacerbated. Techniques like genetic engineering, artificial selection, and mutagenesis have made …

Gene-edited crops ‘should not be subject to government oversight’

February 9th, 2016 / Nature Genetics

An editorial in Nature Genetics has called for gene-edited crops to be subject to no more regulation than crops developed through conventional breeding. In an accompanying commentary, Chinese, German and US researchers make the case that many applications of gene-editing would lead to crops that would, at least in theory, …

Suppressing growth: how GMO opposition hurts developing nations

February 9th, 2016 / Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

Meet Campaigns against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), originating primarily in Europe, have created significant obstacles to the development and adoption of genetically modified crops. While the policies and practices resulting from these campaigns impose considerable costs on the economies of origin, they disproportionately hurt those nations with the greatest need …

Livestock diversity crucial to ending global hunger

February 8th, 2016 / Bangkok Post, Thailand

Our livestock is increasingly being raised indoors and fed on concentrate feed that is often imported. Intensive production of chickens, pigs and dairy cows is based on a few breeds worldwide. These developments are risky, as we and future generations are losing the potential to adapt livestock production systems to …

Fungus-resistant wheat varieties released, farmers to get seed

February 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) is to make available a couple of disease-resistant wheat varieties to farmers for the next planting season. The three recently released varieties are resistant to UG99 stem rust virus and were developed by Buginyanya Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute …

Initiative targets job creation and decent work for young people

February 6th, 2016 / FAO, Italy

“Poverty and hunger cannot be eradicated without addressing the inadequacy of employment conditions and opportunities facing the world’s young people, especially for young women and those living in rural areas,” said Brave Ndisale, FAO Social Protection Division Deputy Director. Read …

Accelerating change for smallholders with digital technology

February 6th, 2016 / Can we feed the world, UK

The fourth revolution, ‘Industry 4.0’, will build on the digital revolution, but there is work to be done on bringing the digital revolution to developing countries, particularly to rural areas. Digital technology has the potential to accelerate change and reduce isolation, while agricultural development has the potential to support the …

“GM crops could help save lives” …

February 6th, 2016 / IOL, South Africa

Modifying plants to be drought tolerant may help secure South Africa’s future of food production, a leading researcher from the University Cape Town has said. Jill Farrant, Professor of molecular and cell biology at UCT, has spent the last 21 years researching the benefits that could come from genetically modifying …