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Sorghum: Africa’s untapped commercial agricultural potential

November 21st, 2018 / The Chronicle, Zimbabwe

Sorghum has a lot going for it. It’s climate-smart, highly nutritious and we already know how to grow it.
If we put the right amount of money and thought behind it, it could also help solve our unemployment woes.
The end of 2017 was characterised by a series of extraordinary events. One …

Tech fall armyworm solutions winners recognised

November 21st, 2018 / The East African, Kenya

Two companies from the region have been rewarded for formulating digital solutions to the invasive fall armyworm.
Farm.ink, a Nairobi-based start-up, took the top prize of $150,000 for the most viable way to combat the pest, which has had devastating effects on maize farms in Africa. Farm.ink integrated a Fall Armyworm …

Values should be considered in discussions about GE products

November 15th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The role of genome editing in food and feed production has sparked debates and discussions among stakeholders. Risk-focused is how researcher Sarah Bechtold of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany describes these debates, saying that assessments are confined only within the scientific definition of risks, which are different from how the public defines …

African biotech students remain hopeful, despite obstacles

November 15th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana writes:
Though most African nations have been slow to commercialize genetically modified crops, students across the continent remain committed to earning advanced degrees in biotechnology.
Ironically, Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, has become a hub for such students, though the country has yet to pass its own biosafety …

Africa: making agriculture ‘cool’ … for youth

November 14th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

At every conference she has attended on the youth, Nawsheen Hosenally has been frustrated to hear that agriculture is not ‘cool’. The 29-year-old graduate in agricultural extension and information systems knew she wanted to do something to redeem the image of agriculture among young people.
So the Mauritian and her Burkanibe, …

Uganda MPs accept Museveni’s proposals on GMO Bill

November 13th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Legislators on the Parliamentary Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation have changed their positions on the GMO Bill and considered proposals suggested by President Museveni, Daily Monitor has established.
This comes after the President declined to sign the Bill into law in December 2017, citing lack of clarity in the legislation. …

Africa needs a green revolution … and there are signs

November 12th, 2018 / The Economist, UK

Something akin to Asia’s rural development may, at last, be happening in parts of Africa. Since 2002 the proportion of African workers employed in agriculture has fallen from 66% to 57%. Yet the real value of agricultural production has grown at an average pace of 4.6% a year, double the …

Doubling farmers’ income: It’s possible – in 5 steps

November 8th, 2018 / Financial Express, India

In an article in The Indian Express, agriculture expert Samarendu Mohanty and Sampriti Baruah have said that using the “Farmer Producer Organisation/ Company approach is one way to enable small and marginal farmers to improve their bargaining power, by pooling resources and linking them to the market.”
Giving an example of …

Large NMBU project on seed security

November 7th, 2018 / Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Farmers’ access to seeds is the focus of a new project ‘Access to seeds: From emergencies to seed system development’, led by Ola Westengen and funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN).
Seeds are vital for food security and are a fundamental asset for the majority of rural communities in …

Thirteen nations call for ag policies supporting gene editing

November 7th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Thirteen nations have used the forum of the World Trade Organization to present a position paper supporting policies that advance agricultural innovation, including genome editing.
The United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Paraguay, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West …