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WHO reveals scale of foodborne disease

December 14th, 2015 / SciDev.net

Africa and Asia have the highest health burden from foodborne diseases of any region, according to the WHO’s first ever estimates of the global impact of such diseases. Eating food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins and chemicals kills around 420,000 people a year around the world, including 125,000 children …

Alliance to tackle African food security challenges

December 1st, 2015 / Business Weekly, UK

The John Innes Centre in Norwich and Nairobi’s Biosciences east and central Africa (BecA) research hub have announced advances in their collaboration which aims to find scientific solutions to African food security challenges. The BecA-John Innes Centre (JIC) alliance works on collaborative research projects and, in doing so, builds …

Coffee, Big Ag & why demonizing GE is counterproductive

December 1st, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

Meet the scientist, Dr Nir Oksenberg: “I think it is important for people to understand that we are not just trying to make a bunch of GMOs and hope one works. We spend years, sometimes decades, studying these plants. We don’t just want to make a plant better and …

SARI complete second stage trials for GM cotton varieties

November 24th, 2015 / YouTube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash files a video report: The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) has completed it second stage confined field trials a Roundup Ready Herbicides Genetically Modified Cotton variety which seeks to monitor the effects of glyphosate formulations when applied on weed and the cotton plant as means …

Drought takes terrible toll in Ethiopia

November 10th, 2015 / BBC, UK

The United Nations has warned that more than 15 million people in Ethiopia will be in need of food aid by the beginning of 2016 because of a severe drought. A lack of rain has meant that crop yields in the worst-affected areas are down by 90% this year. The …

Kenya: What scientists are doing to eliminate deadly wheat rust

October 20th, 2015 / Daily Nation

Wheat rust cuts production by up to 70%, heaping losses on farmers. To learn more, read this interview with Ruth Wanyera, a plant pathologist and principal research scientist at Food Crop Research Institute, Njoro, and a winner of the 2015 Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) Gene Stewardship Award. (Photo: Ron …

CBSV poses challenge as varieties succumb

September 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Across Africa, cassava is vulnerable to a broad range of diseases as well as less known viral strains across tropical cassava-growing regions. In Uganda, the most common are Cassava Brown Streak Virus (CBSV), which leads to root rot, and Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMV), which …

Progress made in fight against banana bacterial wilt but …

September 2nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Banana is grown in nearly 130 countries around the world. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda is the biggest banana producer followed by Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. However, the crop could be wiped out by a disease that is spreading across different countries in Africa. Banana …

Scientists close to finding MLN resistant seeds

July 21st, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Scientists are on verge of finding a Maize lethal necrosis (MNL) resistant seed, a move that will see Kenya save 10 per cent of national maize production per year lost to the deadly virus that first surfaced in Kenya in 2011 according to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center …

Biodiversity reduces human, wildlife diseases and crop pests

June 21st, 2015 / Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, US

With infectious diseases increasing worldwide, the need to understand how and why disease outbreaks occur is becoming increasingly important. Looking for answers, a team of biologists found broad evidence that supports the controversial ‘dilution effect hypothesis,’ which suggests that biodiversity limits outbreaks of disease among humans, wildlife and crops. …