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Addressing GMO misinformation in Africa

September 25th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Ella Nyakunu, a South Africa-based manager of a project helping to articulate biosafety and biotechnology issues around agriculture in Southern Africa recalls how people in her home country, Zimbabwe, tease her each time she goes there. There’s a chance for scientists who deal with GM technology to explain to …

Genetic diversity in our food systems

September 25th, 2015 / Global Plant Council

Our civilization developed with the domestication of plants for food, fiber and shelter about 10,000 years ago. Since then we have made constant improvements to these domesticated plants based on genetic diversity. It is the conservation, evaluation and utilization of this genetic diversity that will be essential for further …

Kenya: New drought-tolerant maize

September 25th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

The African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), in collaboration with Crop Africa Seeds, has developed a drought tolerant maize variety for Kenyan farmers. The maize variety has been named WE1101. It is said to be able to cope with drought conditions and still produce yields comparable with other commercial varieties. …

Driving R&D in Africa

September 25th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

A new scientific alliance and two other initiatives to provide long-term opportunities for developing research leadership and innovation to help tackle Africa’s development challenges have been launched. The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), unveiled in Kenya last week (10 September), will enable researchers and technology …

South Africa: GM corn, soy & cotton OK but not potato

September 25th, 2015 / AFK Insider, US

South Africa has rejected genetically modified potatoes for commercial production, raising questions about a double standard that allows GM corn, cotton and soy to be grown and sold there. See …

Tanzanian fertilizer industry to transform agriculture

September 23rd, 2015 / Tanzania Daily News

There are all reasons for smallholder farmers to increase productivity following the introduction of the world-class player in the fertilizer industry – Yara International. The Yara fertilizer Terminal that was launched by President Jakaya Kikwete, last week, has the capacity to hold 120,000 tonnes annually, enough to supply the …

Kenya: New coffee variety Ruiru 11 is high yielding

September 22nd, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

The grafted Ruiru 11 coffee variety will lead to increased output by reducing production costs by 30 per cent, Coffee Research Institute director Elijah Gichuru, has said. And unlike the conventional varieties, the grafted Ruiru 11 has more yield ranging between 15 and 20 kg per tree per year. …

Nigerian researchers release two new maize hybrids

September 22nd, 2015 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Jimoh Babatunde reports: Two new hybrids of maize that will help improve productivity and income of farmers in Nigeria have been released at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IART), Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan. The new maize hybrids – Ife Maizehyb-07 and Ife Maizehyb-08 were …

Farmers’ lobby aims to boost East African Community potato yields

September 21st, 2015 / The Standard, Kenya

Lack of improved seeds, use of obsolete technology, lack of access to credit, effects of climate change and cartel-like behaviour are some of the factors that have been blamed for the East African Community’s (EAC) low production of potatoes. Last week during the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) …

Closing Africa’s research gap

September 21st, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

A large gap remains in research capacity between Africa and the rest of the world in all scientific disciplines. Addressing the challenges, especially, in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector remains a a major hurdle. In Africa itself, research is mostly dominated by five nations: Egypt, …