In the news...

Malawi Parliamentary Women’s Caucus backs GM crop trials to avert food crisis

September 8th, 2017 / Malawi Post

Malawi’s Parliamentary Committee on Women Caucus, said it supports the current research on Genetically Modified (GM) crops in a bid to avert another food crisis in Malawi.
The Committee’s stand comes amid heavy debate among the public on whether the Malawi should embrace GM crops surpassing hybrid seed for increased food …

African leaders validate AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy at African Green Revolution Forum

September 8th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

African leaders and partners in the agriculture sector have validated the Feed Africa Strategy of the African Development Bank (AfDB) as a viable tool towards the transformation of agriculture on the continent.
President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire and his counterpart from Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, spoke glowingly of the AfDB’s …

Next generation Golden Rice could be driven by CRISPR gene editing

September 1st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rice breeders today develop improved varieties from genetic breeding stock that has been advanced through thousands of generations and over many decades with conventional crossbreeding techniques, said Vibha Srivastava, professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences for the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas. Read …

Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

September 1st, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties. The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert. Read …

Building Nigeria’s agribusiness through smallholder farmers: the AATF initiative

September 1st, 2017 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe reports:
Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world with an annual output of 34 million tonnes of tuberous roots. It is produced mostly by smallholder farmers by use of ‘traditional instruments’ with an average landholding of less than two hectares per smallholder farmer.
But the …

Delay in using GM crops making Africa lose benefits

August 29th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

The delay in approving the use of genetically modified (GM) crops is contributing to malnutrition and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, a study says.
Many African governments are grappling with opponents and proponents of GM crops, thus facilitating a delay in adoption, especially when uncertainty about GM crops are announced shortly before …

Enhancing commercial cassava production

August 29th, 2017 / The Nation, Nigeria

Over 70 per cent of small-holder farmers are engaged in cassava production. A non-governmental organisation, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), is striving to ensure that commercial cassava farming is enhanced with mechanisation.
One of the goals of the project is to reduce rural poverty by using cassava value-chain to generate …

Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

August 29th, 2017 / Daily News, Tanzania

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties.
The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert.
Mostly grown by Tanzanian farmers, the varieties …

Africa should harmonise agro-policies

August 24th, 2017 / Daily Mail, Zambia

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says African countries need to develop harmonised regional agricultural policies that promote investment in key resilient infrastructure to boost regional trade in agro-products.
The policies should also aim to mitigate climatic challenges.
COMESA climate change advisor Mclay Kanyangarara said strengthened regional integration measures …

Can epigenetics change the way we breed crops for drought and climate change?

August 24th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Crops that can withstand the ravages of climate change or resist killer diseases? Many already have been developed — including varieties of bananas, cassava, wheat and oranges — but they languish on laboratory shelves as their creators navigate the complex, and sometimes contradictory, regulations developed over the years to deal …