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A CRISPR approach to saving banana

April 23rd, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

CRISPR/Cas9‐based genome editing is offering new hope for protecting a critical food security crop by developing climate-smart banana varieties.

Research to identify the genes associated with stress‐tolerant traits and other uses of gene editing and genetic engineering to help banana varieties adapt to a changing climate is highlighted in an April …

Africa making progress in using Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but more still needs to be done

April 23rd, 2019 / African Brains

Session raised opportunities for scaling up actions considering the role of STI in accelerating efforts to achieve the SDGs under review by Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD5)

The Africa Regional Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum was one of the pre-events of the fifth session of the Africa Regional …

What African nations can learn from Rwanda’s growth as an innovation hub

April 23rd, 2019 / New Times, Rwanda

Rwanda is quickly becoming an innovator’s paradise. Technology companies and manufacturers from within and outside the continent are moving to the country to either set up innovation hubs or manufacturing plants.

Last year Andela, which originally launched in Nigeria, announced it was launching a pan-African tech hub in Kigali. The hub …

Biotechnology Has Come To Stay – Bako

April 23rd, 2019 / Leadership, Nigeria

The heads of state and governments of Africa undertook concrete steps to eliminate hunger on the African continent by 2025 during the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The Malabo Declaration states that by 2025, no African should go to bed hungry, therefore one …

As weeds outsmart the latest weedkillers, farmers are running out of easy options

April 15th, 2019 / The Salt

There was a moment, about 20 years ago, when farmers thought that they’d finally defeated weeds forever.

Biotech companies had given them a new weapon: genetically engineered crops that could tolerate doses of the herbicide glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. Farmers could spray this chemical right over their …

Tapping into digital technology platforms to boost farming productivity in Africa

April 15th, 2019 / How we made it in Africa

Africa is a bit of an anomaly as far as agriculture is concerned. On the one hand, it has 65% of the world’s available uncultivated arable land, and it has the potential to feed the world. However, a country such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which has …

The world needs smart bananas

April 15th, 2019 / Fresh Plaza

Millions of people depend on bananas. However, their cultivation is very vulnerable to diseases and the effects of climate change. There is a pressing need for a new more resistant banana variety. To this end, on Monday, 8 April the Belgian University, KU Leuven, and Bioversity International signed an agreement. …

Genetic breakthrough on tropical grass could help develop climate-friendly cattle farms

April 15th, 2019 / Phys.org

Cattle are a mainstay for many smallholders but their farms are often on degraded lands, which increases cattle’s impact on the environment and lowers their production of milk and meat. Researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have shown that Brachiaria grass species can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cattle …

Royalty-free seeds, mobile devices help African farmers boost crop yields despite drought

April 9th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project

As our global population continues to grow and the climate becomes hotter and drier and resources become scarcer…. we need both food and fresh water to survive, but growing food demands significant fresh water as well. Our efforts to ensure both food security and ample fresh water supplies are intertwined, …

Poor seeds affecting food production, say experts

April 9th, 2019 / The Star, Kenya

Director general  Eliud Kireger said the recycled seeds yield less than the newer hybrid seeds which the organisation has produced.

Research done by Karlo indicated that only 47 per cent of farmers were using the recommended seeds while fertiliser was being applied at 40 per cent of the accepted rates. Read …