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Agri-tech is transforming Africa’s agricultural industry

March 21st, 2018 / Aid and International Aid Forum

Agriculture has a significant role in Africa as it employs 65% of the work force and contributes 32% of GDP, according to the World Bank.
Similarly, approximately 70% of Africa’s population depend directly on agriculture for their livelihood.
However, the African agricultural industry is currently facing a number of problems with low …

Empowering African women through plant breeding

March 21st, 2018 / CropLife Interntional

While plant breeding has historically focused on improvements to a plants immunity, productivity, or quality, researchers are increasingly looking to understand and enhance traits which make crops more attractive to both men and women. Male and female farmers are just like consumers in that they look for certain traits …

Climate Smart Agriculture, combating climate change across Africa

March 21st, 2018 / Devdiscourse.com

The impact of global climate change is particularly felt in agriculture, as rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and increased pests and diseases pose new and bigger risks to the global food system.
However, at the UN climate talks, the concept of ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture’(CSA), an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural systems …

FAO launches mobile application to support fight against Fall Armyworm in Africa

March 21st, 2018 / Reliefweb

FAO has launched a mobile application to enable farmers, agricultural workers and other partners at the frontline of the fight against Fall Armyworm in Africa to identify, report the level of infestation, and map the spread of this destructive insect, as well as to describe its natural enemies and the …

Fast maturing maize, onion offers hope to farmers

March 21st, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

A seed company has unveiled new maize and onion varieties that are drought tolerant and guarantee increased yields. EA seeds introduced the new maize variety — Tosheka, an early maturing type that takes 90 days and is drought tolerant.
According to EA seed Marketing and Sales Manager, Macharia Chege, the maize …

The fuss about biotechnology: Why?

March 19th, 2018 / The Nigerian Voice

Science, technological innovation and a fundamental understanding of nature are among the major drivers of progress. Today’s advances in the treatment of human disease have been made possible by the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and the DNA double-helix structure by Watson and Crick in 1953. These …

Disease-resistant GMO crops can reduce pesticide use

March 19th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Recently, University of Florida plant geneticists Zhonglin Mou and Kevin Folta, along with their team of graduate students, announced a new method to fight common diseases in fruit plants. Their discovery could drastically reduce the use of fungicides if widely implemented by growers!
Unfortunately, their methods may never be put to …

Is nature “natural” anymore?

March 16th, 2018 / Mapping Ignorance, Spain

It seems that we are definitely heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “more natural” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. Remarkably, this bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, …

Vitamin A-biofortified maize: exploiting genetic native variation for nutrient enrichment

March 16th, 2018 / Crop Trust, Germany

Nutrition trials in countries administering Vitamin A capsules resulted on average in a 24% reduction in child mortality. By breeding staple crops with higher amounts of Vitamin A, the supply of Vitamin A in our food sources can be sustainably increased.
Maize provides approximately 30% of the total calories of more …

Can media help to enhance the adoption of GMOs in Africa?

March 16th, 2018 / USJA, Uganda

COMESA is the only Regional Economic Community (REC) that has a policy on biotechnology and biosafety, taking into account the sovereign rights of the member states. COMESA has developed a plan to strengthen public awareness and communication on GMOs; one of the strategies aims to enhance reporting skills in science …