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New initiative to accelerate crop improvement for food security in Africa

June 19th, 2017 / Biosciences Africa

A new initiative to speed up crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa – the Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvement in Africa (ACACIA) was launched today. The alliance has been established by founding members, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) through the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-ILRI (BecA-ILRI) Hub in Kenya and …

How do Nigerian farmers understand climate change?

June 19th, 2017 / CGIAR/CCAFS

Scientists have been greatly concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture, and about the impacts, adaptation and mitigation strategies of farmers in Africa. In a recently published article, scientists from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa, and the Department …

How to practice climate smart farming with ease

June 16th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farming and environment The continued unpredictable weather pattern is largely due to environmental degradation that impacts negatively on farming. But whereas farmers are directly affected by the effects they have not been mindful of conserving the environment.
“You cry of drought, lack of water but what efforts are you putting up …

Africa soil health

June 16th, 2017 / CABI

Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now widely recognized that increased fertilizer use, integrated with other soil fertility management practises is the way forward. The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) brings together experts in soil health, and we …

Can CRISPR gene editing provide hardier, more nutritious, better tasting crops?

June 15th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Using CRISPR to add—or remove—a plant trait is faster, more precise, easier, and in most cases cheaper than either traditional breeding techniques or older genetic engineering methods.
Although scientists can use CRISPR to add genes from other species to a plant, many labs are working to exploit the vast diversity of …

Using genetics to reduce greenhouse gases from cows

June 15th, 2017 / Wired, US

Bovine livestock are responsible for about 9.5 percent of global greenhouse gas output, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Farmers are trying to reduce those emissions with lots of different strategies, starting with their diets. Researchers have tried adding flaxseed oil, garlic, juniper berries, and …

Researchers Identify gene against wheat streak mosaic virus

June 14th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from Kansas State University have identified a gene that can resist wheat streak mosaic virus. The team identified Wsm3 gene, the third gene known to resist the virus, and the first that can do so at outdoor temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. Read …

The enormous challenge of sustainably feeding an expanding population

June 14th, 2017 / GMO Answers

Dr Esther Ngumbi writes: According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. This presents an enormous challenge and necessitates the need to find sustainable ways to grow food to feed this expanding population.
Just like the challenge is …

Africa: how to produce more food with less damage to soil, water, forests

June 13th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Massive agriculture intensification is contributing to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and the level of greenhouse gas emission, the United Nations warns.
To achieve sustainable development we must transform current agriculture and food systems, including by supporting smallholders and family farmers, reducing pesticide and chemical use, and improving land conservation …

AfDB explores investment strategies to tilt markets in favour of African farmers

June 13th, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has proposed new investment strategies in Africa’s agriculture sector, which, if properly implemented, would effectively alter the market structures around the world in favour of the African farmers of major cash crops like tea, coffee, and cocoa.
AfDB Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, …