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Africa bets on technology to lure youth to farming

October 5th, 2018 / Reuters

“A simple text to a farmer just to say, ‘The weather outlook for the next three days is this’ can fundamentally change what they do.”
Africa has the world’s youngest population – 60 percent of its 1.2 billion people are under 25 – but only 3 million jobs are created …

China to train African scientists as part of $60-billion development plan

October 4th, 2018 / Nature, UK

China wants to train Africa’s next generation of scientists. Its lofty goal is to improve African science in fields from agriculture and climate change to quantum physics and artificial intelligence.
The training is one element of a much larger plan adopted by Chinese and African leaders at the third Summit of …

African Development Bank seeks partnerships to lift 1 billion people out of hunger globally

September 27th, 2018 / ReliefWeb

“We must not get carried away: we are not winning the war against global hunger.”
The African Development Bank called on global partners to join hands to lift one billion people worldwide out of hunger and said it was leading the way by investing US$24 billion in African agriculture over the …

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 …