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VIDEO: CRISPR Technology and Its Potential to Transform Agriculture

November 15th, 2019 / FAO

Genetic tools like CRISPR can help reduce pesticide use, pollution and boost food production without employing more land and water, natural resources increasingly strained by the growing food demand of expanding populations in the developing world. View video of the panel …

Will CRISPR’s promise force the organic industry to reconsider its opposition to gene-edited crops?

November 14th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops advanced by organic activist groups (and official organizations like the US National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) or the EU’s European Court of Justice) is based on the claim that recombinant DNA technology introduces genes from one species into another. That’s not natural, these critics …

Innovation needed to end food loss and global hunger

November 14th, 2019 / Relief Web

FAO Director-General addresses Vatican Conference on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said raising awareness, greater innovation – including digital technologies – and investment were needed to reduce food waste and eliminate global hunger.

The Director-General gave the keynote speech to the Vatican’s Conference on Food Loss and Waste …

Ghana’s seven year quest to increase cocoa production

November 8th, 2019

Despite red flags raised by the minority in parliament, last Wednesday, parliament voted to approved the US$600 million loan facility for the Cocoa Productivity Enhancement Project being given to Ghana by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to restructure and revamp the cocoa industry.

The project which covers a seven year duration …

For southern Africa, climate change is real as prolonged droughts are creating food shortages

November 8th, 2019

Southern Africa is feeling the effects of climate change. The United Nations is reporting that prolonged droughts there and across the continent have led to food shortages, which will impact 45 million people. 

Farming is prone to climate change as both livestock and crops are reactive to changes in temperatures and …

The future of work in Africa: opportunities and challenges of digital technologies

November 8th, 2019

Around the world, and especially in Africa, rapid digitization and the spread of new technologies are ushering in a new era of economic disruption. This trend has ignited a global debate about the implications for labor markets and the future of work. So far, the future of work discussion has …

VIDEO: ‘If I don’t farm, we won’t eat’: Kenyan farmer illustrates the impact of crop disease in Africa

November 7th, 2019

Steven Oruko Kasamani is a smallholder farmer in Mayoni, Kenya, growing corn, soybean, kale and tomato to support a family of nine. Consumers in the developed world read news stories about growers like Mr. Kasamani, but rarely do they get a firsthand-look at just how difficult it is to farm …

Microbes living in plant roots fight off fungal infection, cutting need for pesticides, study shows

November 7th, 2019

Micro-organisms living inside plant roots team up to boost the plant’s growth and tolerance to stress. An international research team led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Wageningen UR reports its discovery in …. the scientific journal Science.

Certain species of ‘resident’ bacteria can protect plant roots against fungal infections. …

A crop that feeds billions freed from blight by CRISPR

November 6th, 2019

Bacteria that infect rice are thwarted by changes to rice genes involved in sugar transport.

Genome editing has made one of the world’s most important crops resistant to a devastating bacterial infection.

Bacterial blight, which is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae (Xoo), can slash farmers’ yields of rice, which is a staple food for billions …

VIDEO: How agriculture is enhancing food security in a time of climate resilience

November 6th, 2019

Whilst agricultural development is fundamental to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), African Union’s Agenda 2063, and commitments under the Malabo Declaration, agricultural productivity on the continent remains low. Chairperson of the Board of Governors for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), Professor Sidi Osho …