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Vitamin A (golden) rice now a reality

November 1st, 2016 / Daily Star, Bangladesh

The first field trial of the Golden Rice in Bangladesh has yielded promising results, triggering prospect of the vitamin A-rich grain’s release as early as 2018.
Two months after harvesting the Bangladeshi version of Golden Rice line, GR2E BRRI dhan29, scientists at Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) found that rice grains …

African initiative calls for focus on land restoration

November 1st, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Generating sufficient scientific knowledge to restore degraded land is critical in Africa because the continent largely depends on land and other natural resources for socioeconomic development, experts say.
Most populations, it was noted at the 1st African Forest Landscape Restoration (AFR100) Regional Conference this month (11-12 October) in Ethiopia, depend on …

Study reveals which genes are critical to a plant’s response to drought

November 1st, 2016 / Science Daily, US

Because plants cannot relocate when resources become scarce, they need to efficiently regulate their growth by responding to environmental cues. Drought is the most important cause of reduced plant growth and crop yield, which makes insights into a plant’s drought response highly valuable to agriculture. A new study has provided …

GMOs=Monoculture=Bio-disaster? Time to revise simplistic ideological narrative

October 28th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Anti-GMO activists have long claimed that genetic modifications are responsible for the extinction of species and losses of diversity that have been plaguing the planet for some 10,000 years now. They pushed through a critical set of precautionary principle-based claims critical of GMOs at the Cartagena protocol on biosafety to …

Zimbabwe: Scientists unveil maize seeds resistant to heat, drought

October 28th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Scientists in Zimbabwe say they have developed new heat- and drought-tolerant varieties of maize that may be ready for sale ahead of the next planting season.
The seeds from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center were developed to combat drought-induced food insecurity that has affected millions in southern Africa over …

FAO report endorses biotech crops as important climate change tools

October 28th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The report … renews the [Food and Agricultural Organization]”s focus on “climate-smart agriculture,” which combines both adaptation and mitigation in improved farming systems. One of its three key principles is “sustainably increasing agricultural productivity to support equitable increases in incomes, food security, and development.” Examples suggested by the FAO include …

Shea butter: Uganda’s hidden treasure

October 28th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Shea butter or Moo yao as it is known in Lango and Acholi sub-regions is an indigenous fruit tree that grows mostly in northern Uganda. Its fat containing kernels are sold both on the local and international markets.
In terms of importance in Africa, its oil is second to palm oil. …

Anzisha Grand Prize for African Youth Entrepreneurship goes to agriculture entrepreneur from Madagascar

October 28th, 2016 / PC Tech, Uganda

African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation are pleased to announce Heritiaina Randriamananatahina, 22 year old agriculture entrepreneur from Madagascar, as this year’s winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize in the sixth annual edition of Africa’s premier award for youth entrepreneurship.
Heritiaina is the founder of Fiombonana, an agro-processing enterprise that …

South Africa: Minister commends pro-women agriculture initiative

October 21st, 2016 / African Brains, Kenya

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has welcomed an initiative by a group of Western Cape women, who have set up a network of entrepreneurs to help women and youth to get into farming.
In an interview with SAnews, the Minister said the initiative makes it easier for government to …

CAADP having a positive impact on food and nutrition security

October 21st, 2016 / African Brains, Kenya

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is having a positive impact on food and nutrition security in countries that are implementing it, according to the just released 2015 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR).
“Improving food security is not only about making sure people are consuming adequate calories, but …