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Tackling post-harvest losses towards food security

November 9th, 2015 / Leadership, Nigeria

Post-harvest losses are losses which occur between the time of harvest and the time of human consumption and can be divided into quantitative and qualitative losses. Whichever way they occur, it is usually a loss to the farmer in particular and the nation at large as the value of that …

How we got to now: Why the US and Europe went different ways on GMOs

November 9th, 2015 / The conversation, UK

There is a myth that circulates: Americans accepted genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food supply without question, while the more precautionary Europeans rejected them. But GMOs went through a period of significant controversy in the US during the early years starting in the 1980s. A boomerang effect is only …

Nigeria: A solution that puts smallholders’ food, nutrition and income in a bag

November 6th, 2015 / IPS, Italy

Sometimes the best solutions can appear to be so simple that it’s hard to imagine why they weren’t invented centuries ago. Take the so-called PICS bags, big plastic storage sacks made of triple-lined plastic that can hold up to 90 kilograms of cowpeas or other farm produce. They cut agricultural …

SA is world’s 9th largest GM crop producer

November 6th, 2015 / News24.com, South Africa

South Africa was the world’s ninth largest producer of genetically modified (GM) crops, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. Briefing the media on a Cabinet decision to approve the country’s Third National Report on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Radebe said the country remained …

New plant breeding techniques: Innovation breakthrough or GMOs in disguise?

November 5th, 2015 / EurActiv.com

‘New plant breeding techniques’ focus on developing new seed traits within a given species through genetic engineering. A troubling question for policymakers is whether these techniques should fall under GMO legislation. Read …

Amaranth has bundles of money hidden in its grain

November 3rd, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa, Kenya

Amaranth can easily be mistaken for just another wondering weed. Yet, while some people sparingly use the plant as vegetables, Ann Muthoni, a nutrition expert in Kenya, is making unique flour out of it, which she sells through various supermarkets across the country including Tuskys, Clean Shelf and Kamidi. …

Morocco’s progress on food security acknowledged by UN

November 3rd, 2015 / The Guardian, UK

Morocco’s progress on reducing poverty and eliminating hunger through a nationwide plan has received qualified praise from the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Hilal Elver acknowledged the country’s achievements in boosting production through “plan Maroc vert” (plan for a green Morocco, or PMV), but cautioned that more …

The World Bank Group welcomes Sudan’s decision to Join the CGIAR fund

November 2nd, 2015 / AllAfrica

Sudan has decided to join the CGIAR Fund, the world’s largest public vehicle for financing the agricultural research advances needed to tackle complex global development challenges. As a donor to the CGIAR Fund, Sudan supports the development and dissemination of improved crop varieties, livestock vaccines, and sustainable agroforestry and farming …

Patents fail to boost crop yields, says study

October 30th, 2015 / SciDevNet

Policies that secure intellectual property rights (IPRs) for agricultural innovations often fail to encourage technology transfer to developing countries or increase crop yields, a study shows. IP protection can take legal form in patents or be ensured biologically, for example by making hybrids of existing crops difficult to copy or …

Uganda: New satellite data technology to provide farmers with information

October 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor

Lack of up-to-date information, especially agronomical and weather updates, has always been a big challenge for Ugandan farmers. Now the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and partners have launched a new satellite-based technology project, providing timely, accurate crop-management information via smart phones to farmers. Read …