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With veganism a rapidly growing dietary choice in developed countries, why should we conserve livestock diversity?

October 25th, 2018 / Food Forever

Jimmy Smith, Director General, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Food Forever Champion writes:
In the United States last year, an estimated 6% of the population identified as vegan, a rise of 600% since 2014. On the other side of the Atlantic, the number of Britons who have removed animal products …

Africa Soil Information Service

October 25th, 2018 / CGIAR

The Africa Soil Information Service provides continent-wide digital soil maps and decision-support applications for sub-Saharan Africa, using new types of soil analysis and statistical methods.
The online portal africasoils.net provides practical, timely and cost-effective soil health surveillance services that can help map soil conditions, set a baseline for monitoring changes, develop …

Ministry of Science releases 19 high yield crop varieties, 1 chicken breed

October 24th, 2018 / Vanguard, Nigeria

A total of 19 new high yield crop varieties have been released by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to enhance Nigerian agriculture. The National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) approved the release at its 26th meeting held at its secretariat, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), …

Garlic, chillies among natural fall armyworm measures

October 24th, 2018 / SciDev.net

“Biological pesticides are safer to humans and the environment than synthetic chemicals.”
Roger Day, CABI
Garlic, oranges, chillies and sex pheromones are among the potentially viable natural control measures that could be used against fall armyworm, according to a study.
Researchers have identified a number of pesticides derived from natural materials such as …

Plague of caterpillars threatening food crisis may be halted with safe pesticides

October 24th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

Experts have identified safer, effective pesticides they believe can control a plague of caterpillars that is devastating crops across Africa.
Many farmers are attempting to control armyworm – a pest that feasts on maize, rice and sugarcane – through the use of highly hazardous pesticides. But researchers warn such chemicals risk …

Genetic engineering solutions for medical and agricultural challenges

October 23rd, 2018 / Blue and Green Tomorrow

GE technology has had a very positive impact on our world. The change has been most significant in the agricultural industry, but the medical industry has been affected to. Fortunately, it has had a positive impact on the environment, which should make our lives much better in the long-term. Read …

Kenya cotton farmers get a presidential nod to grow GM cotton

October 23rd, 2018 / The Exchange, Tanzania

In the 80s and 90s, Kenya cotton industry was thriving with commercial and small scale production in Western, Nyanza, Eastern and Coastal regions relying on the crop for income generation. However, years of neglect and introduction of second hand clothes led to the collapse of both cotton ginneries as well …

Researchers take genomic sequencing to the farm to help transform lives

October 23rd, 2018 / Phys.org

In a world first, international scientists including a University of Otago researcher, have used whole genome sequencing to help diagnose a plant pathogen destroying crops on African farms, potentially paving the way for preventing crop failures, vital to the African economy.
Dr. Jo-Ann Stanton, a Senior Research Fellow in the University …

Edible cottonseed research at Texas A&M receives key USDA approval

October 22nd, 2018 / Texas A&M, US

Cottonseed ground into flour to deliver protein to millions of people, a project to which Dr. Keerti Rathore has devoted more than half his professional career, is one step closer to reality.
Rathore, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant biotechnologist in College Station, received word that Texas A&M’s “Petition for Determination …

Viewpoint: It’s time to replace our fear-based genetic engineering regulations

October 22nd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

In the early 1970s a group of scientists — none involved in agriculture or food — raised concerns about the hypothetical hazards that might arise from the use of the newly discovered molecular genetic modification techniques (recombinant DNA technology) that could alter the inheritable characteristics of an organism via directed …