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Natural killers: developing better biopesticides

January 26th, 2017 / Global FoodSecurity, UK

As armyworms return to devastate crops in Africa, Lancaster University’s Professor Ken Wilson reports on renewed efforts to bring a sustainable solution.
The pressing need for alternatives to chemical pesticides was the subject of a recent GFS workshop and blog post: How would we cope with a post-pesticide world?
As harmful …

How GM crops can help us to feed a fast-growing world

January 25th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

The United Nations forecasts global population to rise to more than 9 billion people by 2050. Climate change may mean that the crops we depend on now may no longer be suited to the areas where they are currently cultivated and may increasingly be threatened by droughts, floods and the …

Avian flu: what farmers should do

January 24th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:: This week, the ministries of agriculture and health issued an alert about an avian flu outbreak in Wakiso, Kalangala and Masaka districts. This followed reports of several migratory birds found dead on the shores of Lake Victoria in these areas.
In his statement, Agriculture minister Vincent …

Southern African maize munching pest is South American invader

January 18th, 2017 / Reuters, UK

A maize pest that has devastated crops in southern Africa is a South American species which is harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart, agriculture officials and experts said on Tuesday.
The fall armyworm outbreak has erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and follows a crippling El Nino-triggered drought …

Alien armyworms invade corn in drought-hit southern Africa

January 18th, 2017 / Agweb, US

The fall armyworm that’s native to the Americas has arrived in southern Africa for the first time, wiping out tens of thousands of acres of corn fields. For a region trying to recover from drought, the pest brings renewed fears of food shortages and inflation. The United Nations’ Food and …

To discover Africa’s biodiversity, look to the soil

January 16th, 2017 /

South Africa is finally embarking on a long-overdue initiative: mapping the incredible biodiversity in Africa’s soils. It will document the microbial life hidden in the ground in sub-Saharan Africa, and the data it derives could help solve the continent’s crisis of hunger and food insecurity, and give birth to a …

Combined biological control tames five field pests

January 13th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa, Kenya

Horticultural farmers can control up to five common crop pests by a single application of a combined fungi-based biological spray from the Real Integrated Pest Management (Real IPM).
With the help of International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Real (IPM) has come up with a biological spray, MetaMix, which hosts …

Video: The near death and rescue of the Hawaiian papaya

January 11th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The tiny anti-GMO movement in Hawaii grew into a sizable force in 2013-14, thanks largely to funding and directional support from organizations on the US mainland. As the movement expanded and sought to destroy the GM seed crops that comprise the most valuable sector of Hawaii agriculture, it deeply divided …

The promise of GMOs: mycotoxins

January 10th, 2017 / GMO Building Blocks

Do GMOs live up to the promises of the biotech industry? In the case of reducing dangerous mycotoxins, there is data to back up industry claims.
Producing foods free of toxins such as mycotoxins – promise met.
See …

Africa: Climate-resistant beans could save millions

December 16th, 2016 /

Only about 30 crops provide 95 percent of human food energy needs, according to FAO. Dependency on a few staple crops magnifies the consequences of crop failure.
Botanists are already taking extreme measures to save those plant species deemed useful. Some 7.4 million samples are in seed banks around the world, …