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Making a difference through agriculture

August 9th, 2017 / News Day, Zimbabwe

While a lot of resources continue to go into African agriculture, those supporting the sector are still to figure out at what point they will be sure to have made a difference through agriculture. To what extent can increasing yield per hectare or kilogrammes of meat per feed or litres …

Nigeria looks to ‘white gold’ for economic recovery

August 9th, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Rising rice production is one of the few positives of Nigeria’s recession, which is the West African country’s worst in 25 years. Today about 5.7 million tonnes of rice are being produced every year – three times as much as a decade ago.
“We are now living a white gold revolution,” …

When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice

August 7th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Which is more disruptive to a plant: genetic engineering or conventional breeding?
It often surprises people to learn that GE commonly causes less disruption to plants than conventional techniques of breeding. But equally profound is the realization that the latest GE techniques, coupled with a rapidly expanding ability to analyze …

Capitalize on African biodiversity

August 4th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Artemisinin, ginkgolides, quinine, reserpine, scopolamine, paclitaxel. What do these molecules have in common? They are all extracted from plants and transformed into useful drugs, treating conditions including malaria, nausea, cancer and high blood pressure. None of the plants is from Africa.
Almost 60% of commercially available drugs are based on molecules …

At Last, ‘Plan B’ for Africa

July 31st, 2017 / SciTech Connect

A practical, appropriate and effective solution to Africa’s food and nutritional insecurity has eluded everyone for over 100 years. Since colonial days, conventional thinking has been based on the misconception that what works in temperate latitudes must work in the tropics and sub-tropics. This thinking fails to understand the very …

African biosafety agencies move to bridge GMO communication gap

July 28th, 2017 / Independent, Uganda

African countries are currently having trouble releasing their biotech crops popularly known as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) to farmers, but scientists seem to be embracing a new strategy to ensure that there exist relevant regulatory systems.
On July 18, the biosafety agencies and partners across the continent gathered in Entebbe, Uganda, …

Better communication is essential to the future of agriculture…and the planet

July 27th, 2017 / Huffington Post, US

On June 15, I had the honor of presenting the annual AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. Each year, one person is selected to address scientific thought leaders across all segments of the agriculture and food industry – …

African biosafety regulators embrace biosafety communication

July 27th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Biosafety regulators from various African countries have embraced and appreciated the importance of biosafety communication in creating public trust with the regulatory process of GMOs. This was during the Agri-biotechnology and Biosafety Communication (ABBC) 2017 Africa Symposium held in Entebbe, Uganda July 18-20, 2017. It attracted over 120 participants from …

Science, if used correctly, has no political affiliation

July 26th, 2017 / Salon, US

Show us your data and we’ll show you ours. That’s the stance of Scott Hamilton Kennedy, the director of the new documentary “Food Evolution,” which takes the — gasp! — position that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the agriculture industry might well be the best thing to happen to the …

Scientists launch alliance to hasten crop improvements in Africa

July 24th, 2017 / Coastweek.com

Scientists have launched an international scientific alliance to fast track crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvements in Africa (ACACIA) will also contribute in helping African scientists to fasten solutions to local food security challenges.
“This initiative will harness the strengths of the global scientific community, as well …