In the news...

Kenyan scientists find new striga resistance genes in wild sorghum

November 9th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Wild sorghum will soon provide a reservoir for resistance genes against Striga. A research team lead by Dr. Steven Runo of the Plant Transformation Laboratory (PTL) at Kenyatta University and Professor Michael Timko of University of Virginia has identified three wild sorghum accessions resistant to Striga hermonthica (witchweed), a parasitic …

CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing of cassava

November 9th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

CRISPR-Cas9 has proved to be a powerful genome-editing tool for introducing genetic changes into crop species. However, it has not yet been used to edit cassava (Manihot esculenta). To test the capacity of CRISPR-Cas9 in cassava, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center researcher John Odipio and his team targeted the …

Agriculture training in South Africa badly needs an overhaul …

November 9th, 2017 / The Conversation

Agriculture delivers more jobs per rand invested than any other productive sector. If the entire agriculture value chain is considered in South Africa, its contribution to GDP reaches approximately 12%.
South Africa has the ability to meet national food requirements – yet more than 7 million citizens experience hunger. A further …

Government vows to tackle armyworm

November 5th, 2017 / The Herald, Zimbabwe

Government has secured knapsack sprayers that will be distributed to smallholder farmers in an attempt to fight the risk which might be caused by the fall armyworm this season. This development comes after chiefs told President Mugabe when he attended their annual meeting in Bulawayo last week that their subjects …

Gene silencing could control disease, contamination in wheat and other crops

November 5th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Fusarium graminearum is a major fungal pathogen of cereals worldwide, causing seedling, stem base and floral diseases, including Fusarium Head Blight (FHB). In addition to yield and quality losses, FHB contaminates cereal grain with mycotoxins, including deoxynivalenol (DON), which are harmful to human, animal and ecosystem health. Currently, FHB control …

Stakeholders unveil national youth agriculture manifesto

November 5th, 2017 / Vanguard, Nigeria

sS the government continues to woo young people into agriculture, stakeholders in the sector has unveiled the ‘National Youth Manifesto on Agriculture for Nigeria’ to further boost confidence in food production and processing in the sector.
The launch of the document was done at the 2nd National Youth Agric Festival on …

Scientists engineer cowpea to produce Bt protein against raruca pod borer

November 2nd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

In a report in Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC), scientists have engineered cowpea — one of the most important sources of vegetable protein for rural families in Sub-Saharan Africa — to produce a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein, which protects against the Maruca pod borer that plagues the crop. …

Bringing youth back to agriculture in Southern Africa

November 2nd, 2017 / FAO, Italy

Making agriculture more attractive to young farmers and creating decent employment opportunities in rural areas could reverse migration of youth to urban centres and abroad. The migration of youth to urban centres increases the burden on African cities and leads to the proliferation of slums.
In this regard, FAO is seeking …

Scientists develop groundnut resistant to aflatoxin

November 2nd, 2017 / Phys.org

Scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, in St. Louis, MO and their collaborators at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Louisiana State University have made a significant research breakthrough by suppressing the aflatoxin-producing fungus …

Viewpoint: Why GMO crops are planet’s best ecological choice

November 1st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Food insecurity and malnutrition are serious concerns across the globe. Over 796 million people out of a total 7.3 billion population are suffering from chronic undernourishment. And millions lose their lives due to inadequate consumption of basic nutrients. One of the major challenges before the food and agricultural industry is …