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Scientists peek inside the ‘black box’ of soil microbes to learn their secrets

January 26th, 2018 / The Sale

A tablespoon of soil contains billions of microscopic organisms. Life on Earth, especially the growing of food, depends on these microbes, but scientists don’t even have names for most of them, much less a description.
That’s changing, slowly, thanks to researchers like Noah Fierer, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Fierer …

Opinion: Africa should follow in South Africa’s ‘food steps’ and embrace genetic modification

January 25th, 2018 / Huffington Post, South Africa

While there was also an outbreak of the fall armyworm in South Africa, farmers experienced minimal crop damage as genetically modified crops proved far more resistant.
More than 80 percent of South Africa’s maize production is now genetically modified, which is why the country managed to harvest its biggest crop in …

Rwanda makes progress on continental agricultural plan

January 24th, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

Rwanda got the highest score, on Agricultural Transformation in Africa, and emerged 2017 Best performing country in implementing the seven commitments of the June 2014 Malabo Declaration.
The country scored 6.1 out of 10 when the 3.94 benchmark was set as the minimum score for a country to be on track …

Scientists recommend Bt maize as solution to fall armyworm Infestation in Kenya

January 24th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Kenyans are on the brink of starvation following a heavy infestation by the fall armyworm on their maize farms. First reported in the country in March last year, the pest has ravaged over 250,000 hectares of maize farms in 27 out of 47 counties.
A fact-finding mission by an OFAB-Kenya-led team …

Improving the genetics of local cattle breeds, ensuring higher milk and beef yields

January 24th, 2018 / This Day, Nigeria

The Sokoto State Cattle Breeding Project, the largest of its kind in the West African sub-region, will be inaugurated in May this year, Commissioner for Animal Health and Fisheries Development, Alhaji Tukur Alkali has said.
Conducting journalists round the project sites in Sokoto and Rabah LGA of the state, Alkali said …

Insurance programme launched to support African women farmers

January 23rd, 2018 / Africa Business Chief

The African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS) was launched on 18 January in order to help African and Asian farmers affected by climate disasters.
The scheme will target up to 4mn people, particularly focusing on women and their families, in areas of drought such as Kenya, Malawi, Mali, …

Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) aims of double rice production in 10 years

January 23rd, 2018 / CARD, Kenya

Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) is a consultative group of bilateral and multilateral donors and African/international institutions, namely AGRA, AfricaRice, AfDB, FAO, FARA, IFAD, IRRI, JICA, JIRCAS, NEPAD and WB.
With the aim of doubling the rice production in ten years from 14 million tons in 2008, thereby closing the …

Plagued by pests – African farmers may soon have access to insect-resistant GMO cowpeas – for free

January 23rd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A project begun nearly 15 years ago is finally coming to fruition, as Nigeria is poised to become the first country to release a genetically modified variety of insect-resistant cowpeas to farmers.
“The cowpea growers have been very supportive. They like the GM crop. They have seen it perform and they …

Burkina Faso is moving forward with GMO research

January 22nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Agriculturalists in Burkina Faso say their country is still open to using the tools of biotechnology, despite the decision to stop growing genetically modified cotton.
A controversy erupted over the low quality of fiber produced by GMO (Bt) cotton, prompting a withdrawal of the seeds in 2015 after they had been …

IITA /AfDB launches bold plan to revolutionise agriculture in Africa

January 22nd, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

International Agriculture research institute, IITA and Africa Development Bank, AfDB are set to launch a bold plan to revolutionize African agriculture as
Scientists, development specialists, agricultural experts, representatives from national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), and entrepreneurs from the private sector mainly from Africa will assemble in IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria …