In the news...

E. coli bacteria engineered to eat carbon dioxide

November 30th, 2019 / Nature, UK

E. coli is on a diet. Researchers have created a strain of the lab workhorse bacterium — full name Escherichia coli — that grows by consuming carbon dioxide instead of sugars or other organic molecules.

The achievement is a milestone, say scientists, because it drastically alters the inner workings of one of biology’s most …

Endoparasitoid wasp can reduce fall armyworm leaf consumption rate by up to 89%

November 30th, 2019

In a recently published study led by CABI, researchers assessed, under lab conditions, the effect of the endoparasitoid wasp, Coccygidium luteum on the leaf rate consumption of its host – fall armyworm larvae. 

Published in Insects, the paper found that the leaf consumption rate of parasitized fall armyworm larvae gradually declined compared to unparasitized larvae with …

Pesticides endanger humans, animals, beneficial insects? Rethinking simplistic notions, understanding trade-offs in sustainability and health

November 28th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Pesticides tend to receive little else but bad press — bees are slain, lawsuits are filed, and proponents of everything from ‘raw water’ to ‘clean food’ cite the benefits of all that is ‘natural’.

Yet pesticides are vital to human health, nutrition, and global food security. Simply put, we cannot live …

Climate-smart rice production is key for global food security, says report

November 27th, 2019 / New Food Magazine, UK

Proposing three innovative finance solutions to support sustainable rice production in line with the Paris Agreement climate targets, Financing Sustainable Rice for a Secure Future was published by Earth Security Group (ESG), with support of the UN Capital Development Programme (UNCDF), the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), trader Phoenix Group, the World Business Council …

Celebrating South-South Cooperation, innovative partnerships for tackling food insecurity and poverty

November 27th, 2019 / ReliefWeb

Uganda event marks 10th Anniversary of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation (SSC) Programme

25 November, Kampala, Uganda – Through South-South Cooperation, countries across the global South are successfully exchanging technical expertise and building innovative partnerships, which if strengthened, can continue to play a crucial role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This …

Agricultural universities need greater investment

November 25th, 2019 / University World News

Urgent and considerable investment is needed if African agricultural and life sciences universities are to reach their potential, according to Professor Adipala Ekwamu, executive secretary of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

Speaking to University World News ahead of the 15th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place at the University …

CRISPR, disease-sensing technologies could yield a ‘cornucopia’ of healthier, tastier foods

November 25th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Consumers may soon begin purchasing fun-sized fruits and vegetables, as well as processed foods that incorporate healthier ingredients …. And producers may be able to grow crops that are drought- and flood-tolerant, yield more per acre, and are easier to harvest and transport—and are tastier, more nutritious, and less allergenic, …

Key steps in curbing aflatoxin in maize

November 25th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Aflatoxin is a fungal polyketide secondary metabolite caused by two main fungi; Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, both of which produce four types of aflatoxins; aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2. Aflatoxin B1 is the most common and can be carcinogenic if the toxicity level exceeds the set thresholds. 

Maize is …

Europe-banned insecticide ‘threatens Africa’s food security’

November 22nd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Scientists are calling on African policymakers to act urgently to control the use of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which threaten the wider ecosystem and food security, and have been banned by the European Union.

Neonicotinoids are nicotine-like insecticides that are used in plant protection products to fight harmful insects.

Previous studies by the European Academies’ …

Bangladesh could be the first to cultivate golden rice, genetically altered to fight blindness

November 22nd, 2019 / Science Magazine, US

Soon. That has long been scientists’ answer when asked about the approval of golden rice, a genetically modified (GM) crop that could help prevent childhood blindness and deaths in the developing world. Ever since golden rice first made headlines nearly 20 years ago, it has been a flashpoint in debates …