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SA’s GM maize: what you should know

July 16th, 2015 / Daily Maverick, South Africa

Between 70% and 80% of maize consumed in South Africa is genetically modified, and ours is the only country in the world whose staple is primarily GMO. So what? Three decades after its adoption, GM maize remains contentious. Read …

Boost to cassava production in Nigeria

July 16th, 2015 / This Day, Nigeria

A Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the British America Tobacco Foundation (BATF) aimed at encouraging Nigerian farmers is yielding results in Oyo State. Beyond tobacco, which is the primary raw material of the BAT, the company’s decision to support the production of other cash crops is already making impact on …

Drought raises fears that Africa could go to bed hungry

July 15th, 2015 / Mail and Guardian, Kenya

The World Economic Forum identifies food crises one of the biggest risks facing Africa in 2015, that governments haven’t paid enough attention to. Respondents were asked to select three global risks that they think their region is least prepared for, and food crises was ranked in second place, after unemployment …

Growing mangoes to sustain school

July 15th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports on former headmaster Fred Kato Nsamba who is now growing mangoes, interplanted with cassava and maize to sustain a school and teach the young students about food and farming. Read …

Why GM crops have been slow to take hold in Africa

July 14th, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

The reluctance of so many African countries to GMOs can, in part, be attributed to fears about the impact it would have on trade with other countries, particularly Europe where a number of countries have banned GM imports. But things may be changing. Read …

In defense of corn, the world’s most important food crop

July 14th, 2015 / Washington Post, US

Corn has a bad rap. Think of those 90 million U.S. acres growing the stuff, and what comes to mind? Monocrops, perhaps? Cheap meat and processed foods? Ethanol? Subsidies? Polenta might not even make your list. But let’s separate corn, the plant, from corn, the cog in the industrial machine. …

Double cassava yield with improved weed control

July 14th, 2015 / The Day, Nigeria

Preliminary results from experimental plots carried out by researchers working under the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) led Cassava Weed Management Project show that by switching to improved weed management practices, Nigerian cassava farmers can double current national average yield of 12-13 tonnes per hectare. Read …

GMO policies around the world

July 13th, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

In the debate surrounding GMOs, a statement that is often made is that many countries have banned transgenic crops, which suggests that they are not safe. Although all countries have laws and regulations surrounding biotech crops, including the United States, very few countries have an outright ban, where GMOs can …

People can reverse effects of climate change

July 13th, 2015 / Tanzania Daily News

Climate change is wreaking havoc in the countryside and as a result people’s food source has been largely disturbed. Crops resistance to diseases and pests has changed. Their maturities and yield levels too have changed just as management practices, taste, eating habits and lifestyle. Growing drought resistant crops, however, can …

Why the COP-21 climate talks need to focus on agriculture

July 10th, 2015 / SciDev.net

Food systems’ high sensitivity to climate is well known. Less widely recognised is that agriculture is also a major driver of climate change. Agrifood systems — systems involved in producing, processing and transporting food — are estimated to contribute at least a quarter of global, human-caused greenhouse emissions. It is …