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HH Pope Francis’s concerns are for corporate power, not GMOs

June 18th, 2015 / New York Times, US

HH Pope Francis’s encyclical, “Laudato Si’ — On the Care of Our Common Home,” includes a passage on industrial-scale agriculture, including genetically engineered crops. Notably, Francis acknowledges the lack of evidence for human health risks from such technologies. He focuses his criticism on the societal impacts of concentrated monoculture farming, …

Nigeria: rice production increases by 140 per cent

June 18th, 2015 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

MD of Niger State Agricultural and Mechanization Development Authority, Baba Kutigi Madugu yesterday said rice yield per hectare has increased in the state by 140 per cent following the introduction of certified seeds. He said farmers now produce six as against two tons in the past. Madugu added that the …

Saving seeds: hybrids and their benefits

June 18th, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

This video describes what hybrid plants are, and their benefits to agriculture. To help people understand the scientific rationale of purchasing new seeds every year, a group of young scientists made this short video. Take a …

Uganda: we need crop intensification

June 18th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

A socio-economic survey has shown the need for farmers as well as policy makers to make use of research to enhance crop intensification. While it helps the former boost productivity, it provides the latter with evidence to identify the constraints at individual, household, community, market, and policy levels. The survey was …

Bringing services to the farmers

June 17th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Like other regions in Uganda, West Nile is endowed with resources to enable successful farming. B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru visited a research institute that is supporting the farmers to boost their productivity. Its programmes, which the scientists are working on, include crop breeding. The focus is on varieties such as …

App connects Kenyan farmers with climate-smart seeds

June 16th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

A new app launched in Kenya could help millions of farmers adapt to climate change by offering information on the best seeds for changing growing conditions, agriculture experts said. The free “MbeguChoice” app is the first tool of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, and was developed by a 25-year-old Kenyan …

Web portal provides open data on food and nutrition security

June 16th, 2015 / IFPRI, US

“The portal will host a broad set of open data related to food and nutrition security and early warning mechanisms, as well as opportunities for dialogue among policymakers, researchers, the private sector, and other stakeholders,” said Maximo Torero, Director of the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division at the International Food …

Increasing smallholder farmer production, nutrition, and income

June 14th, 2015 / The Ethiopian Herald

Increasing smallholder farmer production through the adoption of modern agricultural practices and technologies is a key to meeting productivity targets. The proper technologies can ameliorate the efficiency of seed and fertilizer use, as well as reduce labour time and post-harvest losses, as they increase grain quality and incomes.  Read …

Solving insect resistance to environmentally friendly farming

June 14th, 2015 / Bioscience Technology, US

After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.  Read …

Lessons from Brazil on biotech for Africa

June 13th, 2015 / Saturday Monitor, Uganda

Brazil presents a suitable example to learn from in adoption, processing and export of Genetically Modified (GM) crops and products. Uganda could emulate the Brazilian model of GM-crops consumption, growth and expansion—as it enacts a law to regulate GM-crops being developed by National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro). Read …