In the news...

Ghana high court rules in favour of biotech

November 12th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

An Accra Fast Track High Court dismissed the request of food advocacy organization, Foreign Sovereignty Ghana (FSG), to shelve the commercialization of biotech cowpea and rice until the provisions of the Biosafety Act were fully implemented. According to Justice Dennice Adjei, the commercialization of biotech products would not affect Ghanaians …

Land fragmentation is the biggest challenge we face

November 11th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Ugandan agriculture today is sub-division of farm lands. It is mainly associated with the traditional inheritance systems of our communities, which also still treasure large families. A man gets married to a number of wives, each one of whom produces …

The role of plant science in food security

November 11th, 2015 / University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Plant science has a necessary but not sufficient role to play in meeting the global food security challenge.Rising temperatures are reducing yields; an effect which is projected to intensify over the coming decades. And increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, widely …

Smallholders gaining from nitrogen-efficient maize

November 10th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Smallholders face challenges such as poor soils and high cost of fertilisers. New improved varieties can raise yields by 30 per cent even in poor soils. Smallholders are seeing the varieties’ impacts, including aiding food security. Read …

Optimizing Africa’s food systems

November 10th, 2015 / International Policy Digest, UK

In Africa, agriculture is not only a source of food and nutrition but of incomes, employing up to 64 percent of labor on the continent with women producing up to 80 percent of food. It is therefore the most accessible sector. Investments to enhance productivity in this sector will ensure …

Drought takes terrible toll in Ethiopia

November 10th, 2015 / BBC, UK

The United Nations has warned that more than 15 million people in Ethiopia will be in need of food aid by the beginning of 2016 because of a severe drought. A lack of rain has meant that crop yields in the worst-affected areas are down by 90% this year. The …

Tackling post-harvest losses towards food security

November 9th, 2015 / Leadership, Nigeria

Post-harvest losses are losses which occur between the time of harvest and the time of human consumption and can be divided into quantitative and qualitative losses. Whichever way they occur, it is usually a loss to the farmer in particular and the nation at large as the value of that …

Rwanda: Farmers cautioned on seeds with short growth cycle

November 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

In Rwanda farmers have been cautioned against planting seeds with short maturity periods. The advice was given by Dr Daphrose Gahakwa, the deputy director general for research at Rwanda agriculture board (RAB) while advising on how farmers can cope during the dry season.”We have several varieties of short term seeds …

How we got to now: Why the US and Europe went different ways on GMOs

November 9th, 2015 / The conversation, UK

There is a myth that circulates: Americans accepted genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food supply without question, while the more precautionary Europeans rejected them. But GMOs went through a period of significant controversy in the US during the early years starting in the 1980s. A boomerang effect is only …

Vitamin enhanced GMO crops … maybe cassava

November 6th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Bangladesh announced last month that it was moving ahead with field trials of Golden Rice, which in itself represents a big step forward in fighting vitamin-A deficiency, a condition that kills hundreds of thousands globally each year. But perhaps the biggest impact of that decision is that it paves the …