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The new buzz in elephant conservation: a bee-scented repellent

August 13th, 2018 / UN Environment

Potential to help prevent human-elephant conflict and the damage they inflict on crops when they encroach on human settlements.
Elephants hate bees. This finding has prompted scientists to devise an experiment that could help reduce human-elephant conflict.
As the saying goes, “elephants never forget”. They certainly don’t forget how painful it is …

Kitui County heeds to Greenpeace Africa’s call to fund agriculture

August 10th, 2018 / The Exchange, Tanzania

Two weeks ago, an international environmental watchdog and lobby group, Greenpeace Africa raised concerns over local governments’ failure to allocate adequate funding to the agriculture sector.
The lobby group therefore filed a petition stating that the county assembly formulates laws that support the ecological farming model since we have been practising …

Counterfeit pesticides cost farmers Sh120bn

August 10th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

The country is losing at least Sh120 billion in revenue to unregistered agro-chemicals dealers and counterfeit pesticides, according to Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) chairperson Patrick Amayunzu.
AAK said counterfeits account for 15 to 20 per cent of agrochemicals being distributed in the country, posing a threat to farmers and the …

Model farm promises youth better livelihoods

August 10th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Known as the Songhai model, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development’s organic agricultural project at Kampiringisa in Mpingi District is beginning to take shape, six months after it was established.
Sitting on 100 acre land at Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre, demonstrates the relationship between crop husbandry, animal husbandry and aquiculture …

African baobab tree big business

August 9th, 2018 / Africa News

Coca-Cola’s Innocent, U.K. yogurt maker Yeo Valley and U.S. wholesaler Costco are among the major brands to sell baobab products. The transformation has started to bring in much needed revenue to African farmers.
Through a cooperative called GIE, Baobab des Saveurs, a small company with buyers in Australia and Canada pays …

Open EU to African goods, German development minister says

August 9th, 2018 / DW.com

The European Union should completely open its market to products from Africa in order to promote development and stem migration flows, German Development Minister Gerd Müller said Wednesday.
“Open the market for all African goods,” he told Die Welt newspaper in an interview.
Agricultural products from Africa must be able to enter …

Ghana eyes Bt cotton following its approval in nearby Nigeria

August 9th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Nigeria’s decision to commercialize Bt cotton has revived hopes for the novel variety in Ghana, its West African neighbor. Science-focused civil society groups are confident Nigeria’s move will serve as a good role model and push players in the agricultural space to resume work on processes to make Bt cotton …

Biotech update: What is CRISPR and how does it works

August 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Researchers have found that the CRISPR – Cas9 system can be applied to nearly every organism. Early studies using CRISPR – Cas9 for gene editing have focused on crops important for agriculture. It was realized early on that the system could be used in crops to improve traits, such as …

13 African countries have biotech crops in different stages of development, but approvals are slow

August 8th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

13 African countries have some biotech crops in different stages of development; the research involves 12 crops and 14 traits. Governments around the continent are evaluating the research and approving crops that feature stacked traits, like insect-resistance and drought tolerance in corn.
A new report published by the International Service for …

Forests key to Africa ending water crises, meeting SDGs

August 8th, 2018 / SciDev.net

Despite the contribution of forests to water sustainability, scholars and researchers have rarely studied the linkages involving forests, climate change and water in Africa, a report, Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities, says.
According to the report, about seven billion humans currently occupying the earth …