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How to ensure Africa’s irrigation boom benefits everyone

August 31st, 2016 / GFAR, Italy

Napandaela is a 63-year-old woman living in small village in northeastern Tanzania. Speaking of competition over water among villagers, she says: “In the face of water scarcity, upstream users and powerful individuals take as much water as they can and leave little for others.” Napandaela, a former chairperson of the …

Satellites and high-tech solutions help African farmers face historic drought:

August 30th, 2016 / Your is.com, Belgium

African and European researchers are employing high-tech water management research methods to help low-tech South African smallholders improve food security. Additionally, extremely high levels of Microcystin toxicity and uranium contamination in important river systems spark calls for extra research on bioaccumulation through the human food chain. See …

20 Years Of Innovation: Reflecting on successes and challenges of biotech crops

August 30th, 2016 / Forbes Magazine, US

In 1996, farmers planted the first commercial biotech crop. The global uptake of plant biotechnology by farmers since has made it the fastest-adopted technology in the history of agriculture. Farmers who have the choice to use the technology have chosen it on an unprecedented level because of its benefits. See …

CRISPR inspires new tricks to edit genes

August 26th, 2016 / Science News, US

CRISPR can quickly and efficiently manipulate virtually any gene in any plant or animal. In the four years since CRISPR has been around, researchers have used it to fix genetic diseases in animals, combat viruses, sterilize mosquitoes and prepare pig organs for human transplants. Most experts think that’s just the …

How Breeding Improved Local Bean Varieties Accelerates Food and Nutritional Security in Zambia

August 26th, 2016 / Agrilinks, US

Efforts have been made by the national Zambian legume program to introduce improved, higher yielding varieties which were developed at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Unfortunately, adoption of these varieties is low because the seed types are not generally preferred by Zambian consumers (like my mom). As …

Glyphosate: Understanding the controversy

August 25th, 2016 / EurActiv.com

What exactly makes glyphosate such a controversial issue? One must look no further than the rather unexpected decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to classify glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” back in March 2015. Overnight, a herbicide with a track record of safe use spanning …

Why partnerships are key to boosting smallholders’ resilience to climate change

August 25th, 2016 / Can we feed the world, UK

Across Africa, achieving food security for all will become increasingly difficult, and governments are under more pressure than ever to boost productivity and accelerate growth. However, the agricultural growth and food security goals set out by the African Union’s Malabo Declaration have underestimated the risk that climate change will pose …

Africa’s biosafety agencies seek to harmonize approaches to regulatory systems

August 25th, 2016 / ISAAA

The Association of National Biosafety Agencies in Africa (ANBAA) held its first African Biosafety Leadership Summit on August 15 and 16, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The summit brought together over eighty delegates from local, regional and international organizations involved in biosafety. According to a joint communique, ANBAA committed to work …

Time To Move Beyond GMO Controversy And Take Advantage Of Scientific Progress

August 24th, 2016 / Forbes Magazine, US

Prof. Peter Raven, one of the world’s leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity, writes: Anybody that plans to go into crop production should consider acquiring land whose soil holds sufficient plant nutrients and has the potential to keep enough water for the crops to grow well. Good soil …

What to avoid in sustaining soil fertility

August 24th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Michael Ssali writes: Anybody that plans to go into crop production should consider acquiring land whose soil holds sufficient plant nutrients and has the potential to keep enough water for the crops to grow well. Good soil is important because it is the main medium that supports …