In the news...

Africa pushes for gains on genetic materials

November 6th, 2017 / AllAfrica

African nations are pushing for a review of an access and benefit sharing framework for exploration of genetic materials obtained from farmers in developing countries. Read …

Gene silencing could control disease, contamination in wheat and other crops

November 5th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Fusarium graminearum is a major fungal pathogen of cereals worldwide, causing seedling, stem base and floral diseases, including Fusarium Head Blight (FHB). In addition to yield and quality losses, FHB contaminates cereal grain with mycotoxins, including deoxynivalenol (DON), which are harmful to human, animal and ecosystem health. Currently, FHB control …

Stakeholders unveil national youth agriculture manifesto

November 5th, 2017 / Vanguard, Nigeria

sS the government continues to woo young people into agriculture, stakeholders in the sector has unveiled the ‘National Youth Manifesto on Agriculture for Nigeria’ to further boost confidence in food production and processing in the sector.
The launch of the document was done at the 2nd National Youth Agric Festival on …

Scientists engineer cowpea to produce Bt protein against raruca pod borer

November 2nd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

In a report in Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC), scientists have engineered cowpea — one of the most important sources of vegetable protein for rural families in Sub-Saharan Africa — to produce a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein, which protects against the Maruca pod borer that plagues the crop. …

Scientists develop groundnut resistant to aflatoxin

November 2nd, 2017 / Phys.org

Scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, in St. Louis, MO and their collaborators at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Louisiana State University have made a significant research breakthrough by suppressing the aflatoxin-producing fungus …

Will CRISPR-Cas kick start a new Green Revolution?

November 1st, 2017 / Agprofessional.com

CRISPR-Cas was called molecular scissors during a panel at the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium. That’s much easier than saying the full name: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and CRISPR-associated protein. The system, however, may be worth all the syllables.
CRISPR-associated protein 9, or Cas9, works like a search function in …

Food production for healthy living

October 30th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Our approach to agriculture has so far tended to concentrate on income generation and poverty reduction without paying due attention to the farmers’ nutritional needs.
They should be educated about the different nutritional values of the crops they grow and the advantages of eating healthy diets. …

Can Akinwumi Adesina save Africa?

October 30th, 2017 / Ynaija.com, Nigeria

At the AfDB, Adesina has been quite the busy bee, coming up, together with his team, and presenting the High Fives Initiative to tackle power, agriculture, industrialisation and integration amongst others. His simplified plan is a three-step approach. In his opinion, Africa has to learn to feed itself, then industrialisation …

Video: Understanding GM crops

October 30th, 2017 / Innovators Magazine, US

The favourable scientific evidence regarding the safety of genetically engineered food crops is starting to be conveyed more clearly to the wider public.
When it comes to what people eat, it is natural, when the information isn’t readily available, that negative conclusions can and do fill the void. An article on …

Cowpea protected from a devastating pest, free for smallholder farmers

October 27th, 2017 / Science Magazine, US

Across Africa, armies of hungry caterpillars destroy the flowers and pods of cowpeas; casualties can reach 80 percent of this staple food crop if no measures are taken. But the real victims are smallholder African farmers who feed their families on farms smaller than five acres. Next year, they will …