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13 African countries have biotech crops in different stages of development, but approvals are slow

August 8th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

13 African countries have some biotech crops in different stages of development; the research involves 12 crops and 14 traits. Governments around the continent are evaluating the research and approving crops that feature stacked traits, like insect-resistance and drought tolerance in corn.
A new report published by the International Service for …

Forests key to Africa ending water crises, meeting SDGs

August 8th, 2018 / SciDev.net

Despite the contribution of forests to water sustainability, scholars and researchers have rarely studied the linkages involving forests, climate change and water in Africa, a report, Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities, says.
According to the report, about seven billion humans currently occupying the earth …

Pheromone-based pest control could be the wonderful future of agriculture

August 7th, 2018 / Green Optimistic

Conventional insecticides are extremely harmful to the farmer, pollinating insects, and consumers ( residue on fruits and vegetables). Therefore, the world is looking for an alternative, safer way to protect the plants from pest insects. One of them is pheromones .
One of the most promising methods is mating disruption by …

Agritechnology firms in partnership to enhance smallholder farmers’ productivity

August 7th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Technology company, SunCulture, which specialises in provision of solar water-pumps and irrigation solutions for small holder farmers, has closed an investment round with electric utility firm, EDF Group, a low-carbon energy provider.
In the deal, EDF will share its experience, selling and installing off-grid solutions designed for residential customers and its …

Ghanaian farmers enlist drones to combat fall armyworm invasion

August 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

Farmers at Janga in the West Mamprusi municipality of the Northern Region [in Ghana] are learning how to use drones and other newly introduced chemicals meant to fight an invasion of fall armyworms in the area. The intervention comes at a time when the worms have wreaked havoc on maize …

How conservation agriculture is helping Ethiopian farmers become more than subsistence farmers

August 6th, 2018 / Addis Standard, Ethiopia

Major factors limiting food production for smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa include the depletion of soil fertility, soil erosion and periodic droughts due to climate change. In Ethiopia, crop productivity is further constrained by a lack of quality inputs such as improved seeds, and high prices of chemical fertilizers, which …

Land degradation – a triple threat in Africa

August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Sustainability, stability, and security–the three overlapping issues are an increasing concern among many especially in Africa where land degradation is displacing citizens and livelihoods.
African ministers and United Nations officials convened at the U.N. as part of the Initiative on Sustainability, Stability, and Security (3S), which aims to address migration and …

We must improve peasant farming

August 6th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes:
In the introduction to his book “The Struggle for Land in Buganda” Samwiri Lwanga Lunyiigo, says: “Peasants must be part of our agrarian revolution through the improvement of their farms.”
He goes on to state that floating masses of poor and landless peasants will not allow …

From cocoa bean to chocolate – how Africa can own the game

August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Chocolate is one of the world’s most beloved sweet treats. It is consumed pretty much everywhere. You are probably a chocolate lover. So where does your favourite brand of chocolate come from?
A recent white paper from data provider Gro Intelligence gathered the facts: Europe dominates the production, consumption and exportation …

When is genetic modification not genetic modification?

August 3rd, 2018 / The royal Society

When is modifying genetics not genetic modification? Strange question but it’s one that the European Court of Justice has spent two years deliberating. The court’s decision determines whether the latest generation of tools for making changes to the DNA of plants, animals and microorganisms come under the same regulations as …