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NAS: Conventional agriculture won’t feed Nigeria

March 23rd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Nigerian scientists are drumming up support for modern agricultural biotechnology, saying the country cannot feed its growing population with the current conventional method of farming.
In an exclusive interview with the Alliance, Nigeria Academy of Science President Mosto Onuoha said the current method of farming would not sustain the nation …

Why African farmers should balance pesticides with other control methods

March 23rd, 2018 / The Conversation

Insect pests cause almost half of the crop losses in Africa. If the continent is to feed its growing population, farmers must find ways to control them. Pests account for high losses in other developing regions too.
For smallholder farmers in particular, pest management needs to be affordable, safe and sustainable. …

Embrace new technologies to increase agricultural production, Africa urged

March 23rd, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

Africa should embrace technology and innovations to boost agro-production and, hence save the billions of dollars the continent spends on food imports, the Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources has said.
Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana said use of advanced technology helps increase crop yields across the continent, a development that would help …

Forty years of data quantifies benefits of Bt corn adoption across multiple crops for the first time

March 21st, 2018 / Phys.org

University of Maryland researchers have pulled together forty years of data to quantify the effects of Bt field corn, a highly marketed and successful genetically engineered technology, in a novel and large-scale collaborative study. Other studies have demonstrated the benefits of Bt corn or cotton adoption on pest management for …

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 …

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, …