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Agriculture in 2050: Recalibrating Targets for Sustainable Intensification

March 9th, 2017 / For Climate Research Network

A new paper published in BioScience articulates the need for a new vision and new goals for the sustainable intensification of agriculture, moving away from the often cited statement that food production must double by 2050 to feed the world’s growing population. See …

Should university agricultural research scientists partner with industry?

March 8th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Paul Vincelli, extension professor and Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Kentucky writes: “Agricultural scientists who interact with the public often feel under enormous scrutiny. One of the most common concerns is that professional ties with industry—especially obtaining funding from industry—compromise scientific credibility. This concern is particularly acute …

Led by Nigeria, Africa opening door to genetically modified crop cultivation

March 8th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

GM technology holds great benefits and promise for Africa, which needs to boost food output and to feed a growing population—expected to climb from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion by 2050. About half of that increase is expected to occur in Africa.
Without a sharp increase in food production, Africa faces …

11 African countries doing field tests for GM crops

March 8th, 2017 / AFKinsider

Africa has been reluctant in the past to adopt genetically modified food technology for crop production, but that’s changing, says Steven E. Cerier, a freelance international economist writing for the Genetic Literacy Project. Recent developments suggest that many African countries are prepared to overcome domestic and international opposition to GM …

Growing reliance on foreign crops threatens diversity

March 7th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

New research has revealed that countries increasingly rely on introduced plants for food and need to cooperate to protect crop diversity.
The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that awareness of the geographic origin of major food crops is shrinking, threatening conservation and breeding efforts.
Governments should spend …

Online tool explores countries’ climate action plans

March 7th, 2017 / SciDev.net

A new interactive online tool that helps countries to access and compare their priorities and ambitions related to climate action plans has been developed.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Explorer could contribute to the global climate action in the context of the UN climate negotiations, according to its developers.
The tool – …

Rice plants could be genetically tweaked to tame arsenic found in soil, reducing risk for humans

March 6th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rooted in place, plants can’t run away from arsenic-tainted soil — but they’re far from helpless. Scientists have identified enzymes that help rice plant roots tame arsenic, converting it into a form that can be pushed back into the soil. That leaves less of the toxic element to spread into …

Product, not process! Explaining a basic concept in agricultural biotechnologies & food safety

March 6th, 2017 / Life Sciences, Society and Policy

Most life scientists have relentlessly recommended any evaluative approach of agri-food products to be based on examination of the phenotype, i.e. the actual characteristics of the food, feed and fiber varieties: the effects of any new cultivar (or micro-organism, animal) on our health are not dependent on the process(es), the …

NEPAD: Need to focus on agriculture projects

March 3rd, 2017 / NAN, Nigeria

Stakeholders at the two-day workshop on the Skills Initiative for Africa programme have advised NEPAD to focus on addressing skill gap by implementing agriculture projects in the country.
The stakeholders gave the recommendation in a communiqué read by Dr Iyk Oji, Special Adviser to the National Coordinator of NEPAD Nigeria, Mrs …

Adding value: Cashing in on cassava

March 3rd, 2017 / CA Spore

A technology to turn fresh cassava peels into high quality animal feed products has been developed in Nigeria. Scientists have been able to reduce the drying time of abundant, low cost peels from 3 to 1 days, and in some cases to just 6 hours. The resulting dry cake is …