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Danforth researchers use CRISPR to gene-edit cassava

October 26th, 2017 / St Louis Public Radio, US

To prove that a new-gene editing technology could be used to alter the cassava plant, scientists in the St. Louis suburbs zeroed in on a gene used to process chlorophyll. Before long, they had petri dishes full of seedlings that were white as chalk.
The plan is to use CRISPR — …

Nigeria: Eliminating crude ethanol imports through enhanced cassava production

October 26th, 2017 / Faces International

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe reports:
Ethanol is also produced from cassava and is used as fuel, alcoholic beverages, perfumes, cosmetics, medicaments, etc.
Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava but the nation’s annual local demand of ethanol is between 300 and 400 million litres. The country only meets up with three percent …

Disease resistant potato field tests show positive results

October 25th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Ugandan scientists are positive that GM potatoes will be commercially available in their country in 2020.
According to Dr. Alex Barekye, Director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute, research on disease resistant potato is underway. So far, three trials of Victoria potato variety have been conducted and the performance of the …

Revolutionising the way we build food and nutrition security in Africa

October 25th, 2017 / BizCommunity

Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as “orphan crops” shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research on these crops mainly to …

‘Supercharging’ rice with maize gene increases yields by 50 per cent

October 25th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

To improve photosynthesis in rice and increase crop yields, scientists working on the Oxford University-led C4 Rice Project have, by introducing a single maize gene to the plant, moved towards ‘supercharging’ rice to the level of more efficient crops.
Rice uses the C3 photosynthetic pathway, which in hot, dry environments is …

Peptides could revolutionise how food is grown

October 25th, 2017 / ABC News, Australia

Scientists say the discovery of a group of hormones in plants could revolutionise food production by improving yields.
The Universities of Queensland and Sydney collaborated on the study, which has found about 130 CLE peptide hormones in legumes that were essential to growth and development.
Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Integrative …

As Africa’s need for food grows, Mali’s rice turnaround shows a way forward

October 23rd, 2017 / Reuters

In 2008, as food prices rose around the world, riots broke out in West Africa, and Mali’s government stepped in.
It quickly launched an initiative to subsidise purchases of good-quality certified rice seed, as well as fertilisers, for farmers, in an effort to cut reliance on rice imports and grow more …

Urgent action needed to address Africa’s soil health issues

October 23rd, 2017 / Business Day Online

One of the best prospects for feeding Africa’s rapidly growing population is to increase the sustainable use of fertilizers, a high-level panel of experts is expected to say today at an international meeting of the World Food Prize.
Despite 10-year-old commitments to expand the use of fertilizer in African agriculture, the …

African agriculture needs modernisation to save $110bn by 2025 – Adesina

October 23rd, 2017 / The News, Nigeria

The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said that Africa needef to modernise and industrialise agriculture to avoid spending 110 billion dollars by 2025 on food importation.
Adesina said this in his remark at the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue Symposium on making farming cool: Investing in future African farmers …

Research that’s revolutionising the way we build food and nutrition security in Africa

October 18th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as “orphan crops” shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research among these crops mainly to …