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Nigeria looks to ‘white gold’ for economic recovery

August 9th, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Rising rice production is one of the few positives of Nigeria’s recession, which is the West African country’s worst in 25 years. Today about 5.7 million tonnes of rice are being produced every year – three times as much as a decade ago.
“We are now living a white gold revolution,” …

25 environmental benefits of GMO sugar? Industry launching ‘fresh look’ education campaign

August 9th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

To try to change consumers’ understanding and perception of GMO crops, the nation’s sugar beet industry is preparing a $4 million online campaign that will launch [fall 2017].
The campaign will introduce those consumers to some of the 25 environmental benefits of GMO crops that the sugar beet industry documented and …

When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice

August 7th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Which is more disruptive to a plant: genetic engineering or conventional breeding?
It often surprises people to learn that GE commonly causes less disruption to plants than conventional techniques of breeding. But equally profound is the realization that the latest GE techniques, coupled with a rapidly expanding ability to analyze …

The missing link in global food security

August 7th, 2017 / Agri-Pulse

The African Union is urging all countries to devote at least 10 percent of their respective budgets to agriculture. The African Development Bank has placed a priority on providing capital for agriculture production. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, AGRA, is focusing on seed development, improving …

We must fight soil pollution

August 7th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
To feed more people and to achieve economic advancement we have to increase agricultural production by taking up new technologies that will improve farm yields on the same size of land.
As we strive to adopt new farming practices however care has to be taken to guard …

Capitalize on African biodiversity

August 4th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Artemisinin, ginkgolides, quinine, reserpine, scopolamine, paclitaxel. What do these molecules have in common? They are all extracted from plants and transformed into useful drugs, treating conditions including malaria, nausea, cancer and high blood pressure. None of the plants is from Africa.
Almost 60% of commercially available drugs are based on molecules …

Climate change Is draining protein out of staple crops

August 4th, 2017 / IFL Science

No matter how hard we work at stopping it, some human-driven climate change is inevitable. It’s already happening, and it will continue to happen even if we drawdown carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
This means that there are certain adaptations we need to make in order to make it through the …

Controlling rats on small-scale African farms is vital for food security

August 3rd, 2017 / The Conversation

Recent analysis suggests that Africa will only be able to achieve food security if it invests in crop intensification like increased fertiliser and pesticide input per hectare. But the expansion of agricultural production areas can also improve this.
A complicating factor in African agriculture is that most of the production comes …

Cracking the code of megapests

August 3rd, 2017 / CSIRO

Led by CSIRO, in collaboration with a team of renowned experts, the researchers identified more than 17,000 protein coding genes in the genomes of the Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the Cotton Bollworm and Corn Earworm, respectively).
They also documented how these genetics have changed overtime.
This level of …

Can genetic modification turn annual crops into perennials?

August 3rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The last several decades have witnessed a remarkable increase in crop yields — doubling major grain crops since the 1950s. But a significant part of the world still suffers from malnutrition, and these gains in grains and other crops probably won’t be enough to feed a growing global population.
These facts …