In the news...

Plant genetics, ecologically based farming and the future of food

July 21st, 2017 / John Wiley, US

For 10,000 years, we have altered the genetic makeup of our crops. Conventional approaches are often quite crude, resulting in new varieties through a combination of trial and error, and without knowledge of the precise function of the genes that are being transferred. Such methods include grafting or forced pollinations …

The important relationship between forest landscapes and healthy diets

July 20th, 2017 / Forest News

It’s a bit ironic that while wild foraged ingredients are increasingly popping up on Michelin-starred menus around the world, the communities who have traditionally subsisted on these foods are consuming them less and less.
Baobab fruit and bush mango for vitamins and minerals; bushmeat for fats and micronutrients; bamboo shoots for …

Nigerian University develops new maize varieties for farmers

July 19th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The Institute for Agricultural Research, IAR, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has secured approval to release three new high-yielding nutrient maize varieties for planting in Nigeria.
The Institute made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos.
The institute said the approval was granted …

World Population Day 2017: IFPRI models impact of population growth on demand for food

July 19th, 2017 / IFPRI

The current world population of 7.6 billion is now projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. As that number grows, so too do concerns about the environment, development, and food security. World Population Day (July 11) seeks to bring awareness to the challenges ahead.
IFPRI’s International Model for Policy Analysis of …

Bio tech crops help African countries

July 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
It was reported in this column last month that maize, cassava, and cotton farmers in North Eastern Tanzania, had appealed to senior government officials to give them Genetically Modified (GM) crops to plant in order to avoid persistent crop failure.
This followed vain attempts made for years …

Inside how donors are hurting Africa

July 18th, 2017 / The Southern Times

Money from wealthy nations is hurting Africa and not helping the continent as it continues to be trapped in slower economic growth and rising unemployment, a new report by Tony Blair’s Institute has warned.
The report titled “Making inclusive growth work in Africa” says a number of African countries, among them, …

Agritech will not take root without better communication

July 18th, 2017 / Eco-business

Technology has the potential to raise crop yields, cut fertiliser use, improve farming efficiency and, by its nature, make the world’s oldest and least digitised industry more sustainable.
But without better communication of the benefits to farmers and the end consumer, agritech could suffer the same fate as genetically modified crops …

Aquaculture to play significant role in Africa’s food security – NEPAD

July 14th, 2017 / PM News, Nigeria

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on Wednesday said fisheries and aquaculture play a significant role in Africa’s economy, food security and nutrition.
Dr Bernice McLean, a Senior Programme Officer for Fisheries, NEPAD, made the assertion at a stakeholders’ workshop on the Pre-Assessment of the Semi-Industrial Shrimp Fishery in Lagos.
“Fisheries …

How some African farmers are responding to climate change — and what we can learn from them

July 14th, 2017 / ensia.com

As sub-Saharan Africa’s climate changes, small-scale farmers are increasingly looking to innovative ways of dealing with agricultural challenges. And in some instances, the techniques they adopt are helping to combat climate change, too.
Alternative animal feed, climate-friendly grasses and the use of fodder trees are among the examples providing farmers resilience …

East African scientists turn to gene sequencing against Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD)

July 13th, 2017 / African Marketplace, CNN

Cassava has no defense against a tiny insect that is decimating crops across East Africa, with dire economic and humanitarian consequences.
The whitefly carries two viruses that together destroy over $1 billion worth of cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa each year. Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) is the more established threat and does …