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On the offensive against fall armyworm in Africa

June 22nd, 2018 / CIMMYT

The fall armyworm could cause maize yield losses projected at $2.5 to $6.2 billion a year. Experts estimate that Africa will need an investment of at least $150 to $200 million annually for research and pest management to mitigate related damage.
The voracious fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has marched across Africa …

Inside the genetically modified cassava research In Uganda

June 21st, 2018 / Business Focus, Uganda

On May 24, 2018, a few journalists and I visited National Crop Resources Research Institute in Namulonge, located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Kampala City.
The trip was to assess progress in research that entails developing Genetically Modified (GM) cassava that is resistant to Cassava Brown Streak Disease and Casssava …

Biofortification’s growing global reach

June 21st, 2018 / Harvest Plus

The diets of more than two billion people lack essential vitamins and minerals, making them vulnerable to disease and disability. But as our latest crop map shows, the global effort to end this hidden hunger is gaining momentum, thanks to hundreds of partners around the world.
To date, more than 290 …

Aiming for aflatoxins

June 12th, 2018 / AgWeb

In the midst of rumors and anti-GMO rhetoric, one researcher is striving to use genetic modification to improve crop health as well as potentially save consumer lives. Aspergillus, which creates carcinogenic aflatoxin, can now be controlled through genetic modification.
Aflatoxins are found in corn, peanuts, cottonseed, milk, walnuts, pistachios and Brazil …

‘Sexy plants’ on track to replace harmful pesticides to protect crops

June 8th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

“Sexy plants” are on the way to replacing many harmful pesticides, scientists say, by producing the sex pheromones of insects which then frustrate pests’ attempts to mate.
Scientists have already genetically engineered a plant to produce the sex pheromones of moths and are now optimising that, as well as working on …

Bill Gates to support 12 African countries in the battle against cassava disease

June 7th, 2018 / Pulse, Nigeria

American billionaire, Bill Gates, has lent support to 12 countries in Africa in battling Cassava Brown Streak Virus Disease, a disease that causes $100 million loss annually across the continent.
Gates, according to a report by The Guardian, is supporting the cause through his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Delegates …

12 African countries meet in Cotonou on impending cassava diseases

June 6th, 2018 / Guardian, Nigeria

welve African countries will be meeting in Cotonou, Benin Republic from Thursday, June 7 to Saturday, June 9, 2018, to discuss joint actions towards responding to the threat of Cassava Viral Diseases (CVD), ravaging the continent.
The high-level meeting, convened by government of Benin Republic in partnership with the West African …

Minimising further insect pests invasions in Africa

June 4th, 2018 / SciDev.net

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) recently offered prize money for the best and digital tools that can be used to help combat the fall armyworm (FAW), an invasive pest that has spread across Africa. The winners will be announced in the coming months.
Identified in over 35 African countries …

Is agricultural diversification necessary for achieving global food security?

June 1st, 2018 / Malabo Montpellier Panel

Professor Sir Gordon Conway writes:
“Growing more, growing better for Africa’s food security”
The combination of population growth, urbanisation, climate change, and – in some countries –conflict, is placing increasing pressure on Africa’s food systems. By 2050, Africa’s population will top 2.5 billion, 55% of whom will be in urban areas. To …

Sub-Saharan farmers are being bankrupted… by a worm

June 1st, 2018 / Huffington Post

The fall armyworm infestation in sub-Saharan Africa is bankrupting farmers who cannot afford expensive insecticides to protect their crops. Struggling farmers are now resorting to selling off their land to the highest bidder. Farmers say the pest, which was first detected in central and western Africa in 2016, has become …