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Agriculture doesn’t have to be a poor people’s game

February 2nd, 2016 / How we made it in Africa

For decades, farmers in Africa have been portrayed as illiterate, old and poor. But agribusiness is gradually becoming ‘cool’, championed by wealthy public figures, and tech-savvy youth developing new solutions for the industry. Increasingly, agribusiness is being advocated as a viable career for Africa youth, many of whom grew up …

What is a GMO?

February 2nd, 2016 / Youtube/piffle

VIDEO: Want to know? Watch this – it’s brilliant
see …

Is cassava the key to tomorrow’s food security?

February 1st, 2016 / International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Cassava is a survivor crop. It can withstand harsh conditions – drought, heat or infertile soils – as agriculture intensifies and populations grow. It is a carbohydrate source for 500 million people globally and a staple in Africa, Asia and South America, which account for 53 percent, 33 percent and …

The need to prioritize farmer perspective

February 1st, 2016 / Alliance for Science, US

For many in Uganda, banana bacterial wilt disease is having devastating effects on their staple carbohydrate, the Matooke banana. Genetic engineering offers a promising option for mitigating its effects. While Matthew Schnurr, PhD, an environmental geographer at Dalhousie University, remains skeptical of the benefits of first generation biotechnologies to smallholder …

Can next generation crop precision editing avoid marketing pitfalls of GMOs?

January 29th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Next-generation precision gene editing biotechnologies like CRISPR-Cas9 and RNAi are more efficient ways to engineer variants for crops, medicine, biofuel and other uses. Publications like Genetic Engineering News have hailed these innovations as “the Next Magic Bullet,” largely because they do not involve the introduction of so-called “foreign genes” — …

How can we fill 9 billion bowls by 2050

January 29th, 2016 / Thomson Reuters

9 Billion Bowls report focuses on a specific link in the global chain – the production and delivery of food. It’s here where the greatest challenges – and brightest opportunities – for feeding our planet lie. Read …

FAO presents $50 million emergency plan for Ethiopia

January 29th, 2016 / FAO, Italy

“The outlook for 2016 is very grim,” said Amadou Allahoury, FAO Representative for Ethiopia, adding that “after two consecutive seasons of failed crops, the success of the main cropping season that starts now will be critical to preventing conditions from worsening. Continued drought throughout the beginning of 2016 also …

What urbanisation means for rural areas in Africa

January 28th, 2016 / Can we feed the world?, UK

In 1950 only about a third of the world’s population lived in cities, but rapid population growth has led to increased urbanisation, which has seen this figure rise to 54% in 2014. As this trend is set to continue, by 2050 over two-thirds of the global population will live in …

Saving African cassava from whiteflies

January 28th, 2016 / TED, US

For decades, the farmers of East Africa have battled the African whitefly, a tiny insect that infests the cassava crop. Cassava, also called manioc, arrowroot or tapioca, is an important food all over the world — more than half a billion people (yes, billion with a b) rely on cassava …

Environmentally friendly practices boost cocoa production in Ghana

January 28th, 2016 / UNDP, US

UNDP, in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), and with financial support from Mondelēz International Cocoa Life Programme, introduced farmers to environmentally friendly practices that can also boost cocoa production and rehabilitate degraded cocoa landscapes. Through the three-year project “Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana” (ESP), …