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Scientists develop biodegradable plastic from cassava starch

November 14th, 2019 / SciDev.net

A team of scientists in Brazil has developed a biodegradable plastic that could be used for food packaging or carrier bags, by applying ozone gas to cassava starch.

The ozone (O3) gas changes the molecular properties of the starch from the root vegetable to produce a bioplastic 30 per cent tougher than those …

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 …

China’s pork crisis is bigger than you think

November 13th, 2019 / Market Watch

One doesn’t appreciate the magnitude and importance of the role pork plays in the Chinese diet until you spend a bit of time here. The meat is so widely consumed, and such an integral part of so many beloved Chinese dishes, that one begins to take for granted that the …

Let’s trust African scientists in war on hunger

November 13th, 2019 / Business Daily Africa

In the West, daily, people are asking themselves, “What will I eat today?” But in my home, Africa, people daily are asking themselves a more challenging question: “Will I eat today?”

In reflecting on the second question, I have concluded that it is time for the public to put their trust …

#WhiteAlert: All you need to know about aflatoxins

November 13th, 2019 / Daily Nation, Kenya

In Summary

Aflatoxin-producing fungi can contaminate crops in the field, at harvest, and during storage.Aflatoxins are odourless, tasteless and colourless, making them silent but lethal poisons.These fungi are also associated with both acute and chronic toxicity in animals and humans, including acute liver damage, liver cirrhosis and liver cancers. Read more …

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 …

Technologies for climate-resilient smallholder agriculture: sharing practices from Brazil with Africa

November 7th, 2019

Brazil and Africa share similar environmental, climate and social conditions, and both face similar development challenges. This creates interesting opportunities for South-South collaboration through technology transfer in several areas, including agriculture, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and value chains development.

Drawing on its fundamental goal of promoting rural development, as well …

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. …

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 …

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