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In Africa, tech-savvy entrepreneurs sow seeds of a farming revolution

December 13th, 2018 / UN Environment, Kenya

From invaluable farming advice shared via text message to livestock vaccines delivered when and where they are needed thanks to a mobile phone service, agri-tech and precision farming are changing the face of agriculture across Africa.
This transformation is an urgent imperative. With global warming threatening harvests, and the world’s population …

Will a new pest beat transgenic corn to African farms?

December 13th, 2018 / Futurity

Bt corn could help farmers in Africa to combat an emerging pest capable of devastating their crops, but fear of GM crops in Africa has slowed adoption of the technology, says Walter Suza, an adjunct assistant professor of agronomy at Iowa State and a coauthor of the study.
“My hope is …

WRI: GMOs and gene editing can help improve crop breeding to boost yields to feed the world

December 13th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A new report from the World Resources Institute The says that there is no silver bullet in producing enough food sustainably, but it offers a five-course menu of solutions to ensure feeding everyone without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation, or exacerbating poverty. WRI estimates that feeding the world sustainably while reducing …

Sparing vs Sharing: the great debate over how to protect nature

December 12th, 2018 / e360 Yale.edu

It is one of the biggest questions in conservation: Should we be sharing our landscapes with nature by reviving small woodlands and adopting small-scale eco-friendly farming? Or should we instead be sparing large tracts of land for nature’s exclusive use – by creating more national parks and industrializing agriculture on …

An unexpected culprit might have caused France’s mass honey bee die-off in the 1990s

December 12th, 2018 / IFL Science

The honey bees of the French countryside suffered a catastrophic die-off between 1994 and 1998. Unsurprisingly, the mass mortalities coincided with the introduction of several new-to-the-market agricultural insecticides. Environmentalists and farmers were quick to point the finger at one in particular: imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid produced primarily by the pharmaceutical giant …

World’s first honey bee vaccine seeks to save dying pollinators

December 12th, 2018 / Bloomberg, US

A growing number of honey bees die each year due to pesticides, vanishing habitats, poor nutrition and climate change, with potentially disastrous consequences for agriculture and natural diversity.
Now, scientists at the University of Helsinki have developed the first edible vaccine against microbial infections, hoping to save at least some of …

Galvanizing the momentum for community actions against the Fall Armyworm

December 11th, 2018 / reliefweb

Recognizing the enormity of the challenge the Fall Armyworm poses on smallholder farmers, government representatives and partners stressed the need to bolster a novel community-based approach being promoted in Eastern Africa to assist farmers and development agents at the frontline to identify and manage the spread of the pest.
In a …

Nigeria ready to adopt biotechnology in cowpea production – official

December 11th, 2018 / The Eagle, Nigeria

Rose Gidado, the Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa says Nigeria is ready to adopt bio-technology in boosting production of cowpea.
Gidado made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.
Bio-technology is a term adopted by international convention to refer to …

Sustainable hybrid seed sector key to Africa’s Green Revolution

December 10th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Africa’s demand for food will more than double by 2050, driven by population growth and rapid urbanisation.
A growing population is not the only challenge. Africa has to contend with new enemies such as climate change and the traditional ones such as pests, poor infrastructure and post-harvest losses.
Some years back, increased …

Genetically modified food fears are misguided, according to Nobel laureates

December 10th, 2018 / Inquisitr, US

American professor Frances Arnold and British biochemist Gregory Winter, this year’s winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, say that misguided overreaction to fears about genetically modified food is preventing society from reaping the benefits of the technology.
“We’ve been modifying the biological world at the level of DNA for thousands …