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Cowpea: A food and animal feed crop

August 31st, 2018 / Open Access Government

“Cowpea is a food and animal feed crop grown in the semi-arid tropics particularly the savannahs of West Africa but also other parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas. It originated in Southern Africa and the cultivated form was domesticated in West Africa.
“While it is a very important crop in …

Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) a blessing or a curse?

August 30th, 2018 / Life Science Leader, US

Back in March of this year, a reader of Life Science Leader magazine submitted the above question for our popular monthly Ask The Board column. Started in our February 2011 issue, the column enables readers to submit questions, which are then posed to a member of Life Science Leader’s editorial …

CRISPR-Cas9 used to reduce symptoms of Cassava Brown Streak Disease

August 30th, 2018 / ISAAA

Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), which is caused by Cassava brown streak virus and Ugandan brown streak virus, interferes with successful cassava propagation in East and Central Africa. The disease is mediated by the interaction of these viruses with the viral genome-linked protein (VPg) and host eukaryotic translation initiation factor …

Scientists isolate first major resistance genes against wheat stripe rust disease

August 30th, 2018 / ISAAA

An international team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), John Innes Centre, Limagrain UK, and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) has isolated the first major resistance genes against stripe rust, a disease devastating wheat crops worldwide.
The scientists cloned three related …

Seeking medicine from the plants of Uganda

August 28th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Researchers have long looked to the plants of our world to solve many of the medical problems we face. But new technologies are rapidly opening new opportunities for those scientists.
And while much of those efforts are taking place in the US, Europe and China, that doesn’t …

Rice genes could be key to stemming nitrogen pollution

August 28th, 2018 / Scientific American

Rice, wheat and other grains that have been bred to produce larger harvests using less land have been critical to feeding Earth’s population in the past 50 years. But these crops come with a significant cost: Their thirst for the chemical nutrients in fertilizer contributes to pollution that threatens air, …

Mechanised farming vital to food security

August 28th, 2018 / The Nation, Nigeria

Nigeria should adopt mechanised farming to ensure food security, an agro-allied company, Nutrac, co-founder, Samson Ogbole, has said.
He said Nigeria’s population of about 280 million could not continue to depend on cutlasses and hoes; rather it should adopt technology-infused agriculture.
He said there were several technologies that could be applied …

Is Africa’s quest to attract 30% of the youth to agriculture achievable?

August 23rd, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Agribusiness is the way forward to attract the youth and to make agriculture profitable because one goes through all the value chain.
In 2014, African Heads of State committed to create job opportunities for 30 per cent of the continent’s youth through agriculture by 2025 under what is called the Malabo …

Farm Clinics: changing the lives of the farmers

August 23rd, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

“Knowledge is power. I have attended several agribusiness refreshing courses since 1980 hoping to learn the latest farming trends,” 81-year old Henry Kanyike proudly says.
His diary states he has meetings on September 1 – the Seeds of Gold Farm Clinic day – but he is ready to skip the …

Ghana: How rapid population growth could become an emergency and outpace both food production and economic growth

August 23rd, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Ghana’s economy is predominately dependent on agriculture, particularly cocoa, though the government has taken steps to ensure that the cultivation of staples such as rice, maize and soya is also enhanced.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) says that 52 percent of the country’s labour force is …