In the news...

Genetic engineering of plants contributes to the fight against malaria

May 21st, 2018 / European Scientist

A team of mainly Chinese researchers – the first author is Qian Shen and the reference author is Kexuan Tang – have just published “The Genome of Artemisia annua Provides Insight into the Evolution of Asteraceae Family and Artemisinin Biosynthesis”
The researchers declare modestly that they are reporting on a …

Kenyan farmers tackle poor soils, low yields with conservation agriculture

May 18th, 2018 / Farmers' Review Africa

To thousands of maize and beans farmers in Kenya a new low cost model of farming is improving their soil health and increasing their yields at a time when declining soil fertility, lack of access to inputs and increasing droughts has taken a toll on farm fields further fanning hunger …

How planting trees can protect cocoa plants against climate change

May 18th, 2018 / The Conversation

Worldwide, areas suitable for cocoa production are predicted to shrink by up to 20-30% over the next 30 years. This is because cocoa trees are already struggling to cope with drier, hotter conditions – attributed in large part to climate change.
Chocolate, one of the most popular and widely consumed products …

African conference confirms growing strength of plant disease research network

May 18th, 2018 / University of Bristol

Delegates from ten African countries joined counterparts from the UK at the CONNECTED Virus Network Africa Launch Conference, which took place in Kampala, Uganda.
Bristol University-based CONNECTED team members Dr Diane Hird and Richard Wyatt attended to co-ordinate operations along with local National Crops Resources Research Institute staff, following pre-conference organisation …

How regulators ensure that pesticide residues on food don’t hurt us

May 17th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Due to my relationship with the world of food, I constantly hear inaccurate comments about GMOs and agricultural pesticides. While these conversations indicate that people are increasingly concerned about what they eat, they also reveal a disturbing level of misinformation.
In my opinion, this is due primarily to activists and …

Improved productivity through sustainable land use management practices in Africa

May 17th, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

Food insecurity is one of burning issues related to climatic change attracting debate all over the world. Achieving food security through proper land use management has been recognised by Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations. Food and Agriculture Organization maintains that the adoption of sustainable land-use and land management …

Cassava breeding hasn’t improved photosynthesis or yield potential

May 16th, 2018 / University of Illinois, US

Video: University of Illinois researchers analyzed four cassava cultivars preferred by African farmers and found unimproved varieties photosynthesize better than varieties selected for improved pest and disease resistance. …

Protecting cassava from disease? There’s an app for that

May 16th, 2018 / Scientific American

An image-recognition smartphone app uses AI to help farmers in sub-Saharan Africa identify up to five different diseases.
Cassava is one of the developing world’s most important crops. Its starchy roots and leaves are a staple food for more than 500 million people in Africa each day. And Africa produces half …

How collaboration can help grow and transform agriculture in Africa

May 16th, 2018 / The Conversation

It’s been four years since African leaders met in Equatorial Guinea to commit themselves to boosting agricultural growth across the continent. This is an important way to create real change in Africa. During the gathering, all the African Union’s heads of state signed the Malabo Declaration. It offered a blueprint …

The debate persists over GMO foods

May 15th, 2018 / Medium.com

The bottom line: Consumers concerned about the growing use of GMOs in the foods they depend on might consider taking a more nuanced approach than blanket opposition. Rather than wholesale rejection, take some time to learn about how genetic engineering works and the benefits it can offer now and in …