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Agriculture training in South Africa badly needs an overhaul …

November 9th, 2017 / The Conversation

Agriculture delivers more jobs per rand invested than any other productive sector. If the entire agriculture value chain is considered in South Africa, its contribution to GDP reaches approximately 12%.
South Africa has the ability to meet national food requirements – yet more than 7 million citizens experience hunger. A further …

Government vows to tackle armyworm

November 5th, 2017 / The Herald, Zimbabwe

Government has secured knapsack sprayers that will be distributed to smallholder farmers in an attempt to fight the risk which might be caused by the fall armyworm this season. This development comes after chiefs told President Mugabe when he attended their annual meeting in Bulawayo last week that their subjects …

Gene silencing could control disease, contamination in wheat and other crops

November 5th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Fusarium graminearum is a major fungal pathogen of cereals worldwide, causing seedling, stem base and floral diseases, including Fusarium Head Blight (FHB). In addition to yield and quality losses, FHB contaminates cereal grain with mycotoxins, including deoxynivalenol (DON), which are harmful to human, animal and ecosystem health. Currently, FHB control …

Bringing youth back to agriculture in Southern Africa

November 2nd, 2017 / FAO, Italy

Making agriculture more attractive to young farmers and creating decent employment opportunities in rural areas could reverse migration of youth to urban centres and abroad. The migration of youth to urban centres increases the burden on African cities and leads to the proliferation of slums.
In this regard, FAO is seeking …

Scientists develop groundnut resistant to aflatoxin

November 2nd, 2017 / Phys.org

Scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, in St. Louis, MO and their collaborators at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Louisiana State University have made a significant research breakthrough by suppressing the aflatoxin-producing fungus …

Viewpoint: Why GMO crops are planet’s best ecological choice

November 1st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Food insecurity and malnutrition are serious concerns across the globe. Over 796 million people out of a total 7.3 billion population are suffering from chronic undernourishment. And millions lose their lives due to inadequate consumption of basic nutrients. One of the major challenges before the food and agricultural industry is …

Will CRISPR-Cas kick start a new Green Revolution?

November 1st, 2017 / Agprofessional.com

CRISPR-Cas was called molecular scissors during a panel at the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium. That’s much easier than saying the full name: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and CRISPR-associated protein. The system, however, may be worth all the syllables.
CRISPR-associated protein 9, or Cas9, works like a search function in …

Food production for healthy living

October 30th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Our approach to agriculture has so far tended to concentrate on income generation and poverty reduction without paying due attention to the farmers’ nutritional needs.
They should be educated about the different nutritional values of the crops they grow and the advantages of eating healthy diets. …

Video: Understanding GM crops

October 30th, 2017 / Innovators Magazine, US

The favourable scientific evidence regarding the safety of genetically engineered food crops is starting to be conveyed more clearly to the wider public.
When it comes to what people eat, it is natural, when the information isn’t readily available, that negative conclusions can and do fill the void. An article on …

Cowpea protected from a devastating pest, free for smallholder farmers

October 27th, 2017 / Science Magazine, US

Across Africa, armies of hungry caterpillars destroy the flowers and pods of cowpeas; casualties can reach 80 percent of this staple food crop if no measures are taken. But the real victims are smallholder African farmers who feed their families on farms smaller than five acres. Next year, they will …