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The challenge of fighting poverty through farming

September 2nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: It is good to reflect a little on poverty—the enemy we are all bent on eradicating from our lives mainly through farming. The majority of our people struggle against poverty as small-scale farmers in the rural areas.Peasant farmers are particularly vulnerable to the effects of …

Ants are as effectives as pesticides

September 2nd, 2015 / Aarhus Science and Technology, Denmark

A new scientific review from Aarhus University shows that when farmers use ants as pest controllers, it is just as effective as using chemicals. In addition, the method is sustainable – and far cheaper. See …

Ghana: agriculture must be seen as serious business

September 2nd, 2015 / The Chronicle, Ghana

According to Ghana’s President Mahama, when people begin to take agriculture as business, they would not only be ensuring food security, but also partnering the government in its efforts to promote agriculture, which is crucial to the rapid socioeconomic development of the country. The President assured the people of the …

Why farms of the future need to mix livestock and crops

September 2nd, 2015 / Devex, US

Today, for hundreds of millions of the world’s smallholder farmers, livestock — a few cattle or maybe a small herd of goats and a flock of chickens — are by far the most important household asset. Moreover, these animals typically live on a small farm of about a hectare (a …

244 reasons why GMOs are safe

September 2nd, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

To date, more than 2000 scientific studies have assessed the safety of these crops in terms of human health and environmental impact. These studies together with several reviews performed on a case by case from regulatory agencies around the world, have enabled a solid and clear scientific consensus: GM crops …

Innovators and entrepreneurs will unlock Africa’s agribusiness promise

August 31st, 2015 / Quartz Africa

The potential growth of Africa’s food and beverage markets will only be possible with adequate investment in small and medium-sized agribusiness enterprises. Small African firms engaged in agribusiness greatly outnumber the large players. Policymakers need to support agribusiness and technology incubators, export-processing zones and production networks. They must also sharpen …

Sustainable potato that resists blight given green light

August 31st, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A potato genetically engineered by J.R. Simplot Company to resist the pathogen has cleared its first federal regulatory hurdle. Sold under the company’s Innate brand. This is the second genetically engineered potato developed by Simplot to gain approval — In March, the USDA cleared sale of the Innate potato whose …

Enhancing food security using PICS bags

August 31st, 2015 / Graphic Online, Ghana

Effective storage of grains such as maize, beans, cowpea, groundnuts and rice has always been a major challenge to smallholder farmers, not only in the country, but the rest of Africa. Grains are mostly destroyed by pests and insects within three months of storage due to the lack of proper …

How scientists evaluate potential health problems of GMOs

August 29th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

One major public concern about GMOs is their affect on human health. Are there differences in nutritional content, allergic response, or undesired side effects such as toxicity, organ damage, or gene transfer? To address these concerns, over 100 research studies have compared effects of traditional food to GM food. Major …

Who benefits from IP rights in agricultural innovation?

August 29th, 2015 / WIPO, Switzerland

In a finite world with an ever-expanding population, agricultural innovation is vital in order to increase productivity and secure the global food supply. But agricultural research and development (R&D) is a risky and costly business. In the past, agricultural R&D was largely publicly funded but today, increasingly the private sector …