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Has Uganda paid a price for not embracing GMOs, biotechnology?

September 27th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes:
It has been more than two decades since the commercial introduction of GMO crops. They have delivered a range of benefits – including stronger yields, better weed control and the ability to fight off pests – to the farmers in the nations that have adopted them.
Uganda …

Best practices of post-harvest handling

September 26th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes:
Horticulture farming is an important and increasingly becoming reliable source of foreign exchange earnings for the country.
The export earnings from the horticultural sector have been growing spectacularly over the years.
The country has a relatively low market share for almost all horticultural products and therefore, has …

Gene drive wipes out lab mosquitoes

September 26th, 2018 / The Scientist

No females were produced after eight generations, causing the population to collapse.
A gene drive has successfully caused the collapse of a malaria-carrying mosquito population in the lab, researches report today (September 24) in Nature Biotechnology. This is the first time a gene drive—a genetic element that ensures its own inheritance—has …

Google, Microsoft and Amazon predict and fight famine in Africa

September 25th, 2018 / DeyThere.com

Three tech giants Microsoft, Amazon and Google are partnering with international organizations to help identify and prevent famine in developing nations using data analysis and artificial intelligence, a new initiative unveiled last Sunday.
Rather than waiting to respond to a famine after losing lives, the tech firms “will use the predictive …

Gene-edited cassava could help millions of farmers

September 24th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Based on the breathless coverage of CRISPR genome editing technology thus far—the famed patent dispute, the overhyped promises of designer babies, the fears of urban biohackers gone mad—you’d be forgiven for thinking that CRISPR is a first-world solution for first-world problems. Indeed, the first CRISPR product to make it out …

Making African agriculture more attractive for investors

September 24th, 2018 / African Business

While global population growth slows, Africa’s population is set to double over the next three decades, reaching around 2.2bn people by 2050.
This surge in numbers will have significant ramifications for the continent’s food security, which is already under pressure mainly due to climate change. The good news is that Africa’s …

The obstacles facing a green revolution in Africa

September 21st, 2018 / The Daily Free Press, US

Beginning in the 1960s, much of Asia underwent dramatic agricultural transformation which saw enormous improvements in production and efficiencies, and subsequently helped pull millions of people out of poverty, prevent famines and modernize the Asian economy. This transformation was dubbed the “Green Revolution,” and is often cited as the key …

Africa: Continent of challenge and opportunity

September 21st, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

LIAM CONDON, Member of the Board of Management and President of the Crop Science Division at Bayer AG writes:
I have a passion for learning about different cultures and languages. This probably comes from the fact that I grew up in Ireland, an island separated from continental Europe, so I always …

Quartz Africa Innovators 2018: A list of 30 pioneers

September 21st, 2018 / Quartz Africa

This is the fourth edition of the Quartz Africa Innovators, our annual series identifying some of the most ambitious and imaginative minds on the continent. The 30 movers and thinkers on this list range across fields from the arts and science to technology and entrepreneurship and beyond.
They all have one …

Intensive farming ‘least bad option’ for food and environment

September 20th, 2018 / BBC

Intensive, high-yielding agriculture may be the best way to meet growing demand for food while conserving biodiversity, say researchers.
But their study says the approach makes sense only if it is linked to more wilderness being spared the plough.
Intensive farming is said to create high levels of pollution and damage the …