In the news...

Quarter of world’s pig population ‘to die due to African swine fever’

November 1st, 2019

About a quarter of the global pig population is expected to die as a result of an epidemic of African swine fever (ASF), according to the intergovernmental organisation responsible for coordinating animal disease control.

In the last year the spread of the disease has taken policymakers by surprise, and has been …

Developing climate smart grain value chains in East Africa

October 31st, 2019

Grain demand is booming in East Africa – but supply is threatened by climate change

The grain sector, and its entire value chain, play an important role in enhancing food security, household incomes and job creation in East Africa. This is especially important given the rapidly increasing Sub-Saharan population. However, the …

Biotech soybeans now cover 50% of the world’s biotech crop area

October 31st, 2019

The four major biotech crops — soybeans, maize, cotton, and canola — were the most adopted biotech crops by 26 countries in 2018, according to the ISAAA report, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018. Soybeans lead at 95.9 million hectares, followed by maize (58.9 million hectares), cotton (24.9 million), and canola (10.1 million hectares). Based on …

Can TELA maize solve the acute food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa?

October 30th, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most food-insecure region in the world, with an estimated 237 million throughout the region suffering from chronic undernutrition.

Frequent droughts are partially to blame for the persistent food shortages and the dry conditions make farming particularly challenging for the region’s smallholders. The TELA Maize Project has been working …

Soil fungi turn struggling wheat into ‘climate-smart’ crop with boosted nutrient uptake

October 30th, 2019

Introducing fungi to wheat boosted their uptake of key nutrients and could lead to new, ‘climate smart’ varieties of crops, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have demonstrated a partnership between wheat and soil fungi that could be utilized to develop new food crops and farming …

Technology necessary to curb food crisis in Africa

October 28th, 2019

THE Regional Director, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Dr Issoufou Abdourhamane, on Saturday said that the numerous challenges facing Africa’s agriculture could be effectively tackled with the deployment of appropriate technologies.

He said with the deployment of appropriate technologies, the creation of conducive environments and translation of political will into action, …

Golden Rice named among Project Management Institute’s most influential projects of the last 50 years

October 28th, 2019

The Golden Rice humanitarian project, announced today that it has been recognized in the top-10 Biotech Projects , as one of the most influential projects of the past 50 years by Project Management Institute (PMI) in its 2019 Most Influential Projects list. Golden Rice is the only plant-based biotech project listed, although …

How agroecology can improve life for Africa’s smallholder farmers

October 28th, 2019

Nassib Mugwanya’s call for attention to the difficult reality of smallholder farmers across Uganda and Africa is welcome. Life as a smallholder farmer is arduous and full of uncertainties, and many challenges will be (or already are) exacerbated by climate change. Efforts to improve living conditions for this large group ought …

Technology hope for African farmers

October 16th, 2019

Precision farming techniques are being scaled down to be usable and affordable.

In Africa, a start-up scene is taking shape, capable of lifting millions out of poverty by transforming the continent’s largest industry: agriculture. The African continent contains more than a quarter of the world’s arable land, and farming contributes 15 …

The cereals imperative of future food systems

October 16th, 2019

Pioneering research on our three most important cereal grains — maize, rice, and wheat — has contributed enormously to global food security over the last half century, chiefly by boosting the yields of these crops and by making them more resilient in the face of drought, flood, pests and diseases. …