In the news...

Optimism high as Uganda’s biotech bill gets “second chance”

April 2nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Some Ugandan officials are optimistic that the nation’s biotechnology biosafety bill will soon pass, saying that President Museveni’s concerns have been addressed.
“The president expressed concern on seven out of 44 clauses in the biosafety bill,” noted Kafeero Sekitoleko, chairman of Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee. “These have since been addressed …

Empowering youth to engage in the agricultural sector is key …

April 2nd, 2018 / African Brains

Youth vital players in responsible investment in agriculture and food systems
Action is needed to enhance agricultural investments by and with young agri-entrepreneurs. Empowering youth to engage in the agricultural sector is key to create livelihood opportunities, achieve food security and stimulate economic growth in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) …

How USAID uses GMO crops to improve food security around the world

April 2nd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Pod cast: Angela Records, science advisor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), joins Chris Barbey to discuss how the organization uses biotechnology to develop local solutions to crop diseases and other issues impacting food security. USAID is committed to remedies in world food insecurity, with an emphasis …

Project improves food security in six African nations

March 30th, 2018 / SciDev.net, UK

An initiative in six African countries has helped improve farming methods and food security.
Launched in 2012, the project funded by the government of Finland and called FoodAfrica Programme has helped improve the security and quality of food supply in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda.
During a meeting held this …

Unleash the power of young Africans: Supporting the farmers of tomorrow

March 29th, 2018 / Compact 2025

The number of young people between ages 15 and 24 is growing rapidly. The youth bulge is particularly pronounced in Africa and south Asia, where the youth population is expected to double in the next 30 years. As of 2012, 10 million young people in sub-Saharan Africa were entering the …

Agrilinks releases food safety hazard factsheets

March 29th, 2018 / AgriLinks

The factsheets provide a snapshot of several key foodborne disease (FBD) causing agents (chemical and biological) commonly found in developing countries. They provide a description of the agent, major food sources, impact on human health and how to manage toxicity. These are a useful tool for those looking for a …

Myths and misleading claims about fertilizers and pesticides lead to GMO fear mongering

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Why did activists trash experimental crops of genetically modified (GM) maize and oilseed rape in the 1990s in the UK? Why were their activities closely followed by a pliant media?
Not having been closely involved with plant breeding, my first reaction was to wonder what I had missed that led the …

The future of organic farming and gene editing

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

It’s become popular in recent years for some to call for a shift away from conventional farming and wholly into organic. But is this even feasible? Not when you compare the yields of both farming methods. Organic yields are usually 20-30 percent below conventional yields, with the sometimes exception of …

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast

March 28th, 2018 / University of Exeter, UK

Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world’s rice crop each year.
An international team led by the University of Exeter showed that chemical genetic inhibition of a single protein in the fungus stops it spreading inside …

Support for cassava development for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

March 28th, 2018 / Cornell CALS

Cassava is vital to the food security of millions of Africans who eat some form of the root crop daily. Although cassava breeders are making progress, they still face significant challenges in developing disease-resistant varieties that also increase overall yield and respond to the needs of smallholder farmers and processors. …