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Helping smallholders participate in the rise of agribusiness in Africa

June 7th, 2018 / BizCommunity

During the third international foodFirst conference, which this year focused on how to team up with African “agripreneurs”, FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva shared how agribusiness in Africa is poised to play a major role socio and economic development, but without policies and partnerships that enable smallholder farmers – …

When agriculture is sick we are sick

June 6th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michal Ssali writes:
We have all perhaps read about the quite successful Daily Monitor Farm Clinic organized at Mbarara Zonal Agricultural and Research Development Institute (MBAZARDI) which reportedly attracted over one thousand goers last week.
It was an opportunity for farmers and other stakeholders from across the region to learn …

Why not genetically engineered organic foods?

June 6th, 2018 / Washington Examiner, US

USDA’s arbitrary rules about what is permitted for the “organic” designation prohibit important advances in agriculture and food production, and they unnecessarily restrict consumer choice. That could be remedied by expanding what is permitted under the federal National Organic Standards, and this would be an opportune time.
The Organic Foods Production …

Africa needs another million PhD scientists to develop homegrown solutions

June 4th, 2018 / Quartz Africa

It’s been a recurring refrain: Africa still lags woefully behind the rest of the world in generating new scientific knowledge.
As figures collated by the World Bank in 2014 show, the continent—home to around 16% of the world’s population—produces less than 1% of the world’s research output. These are painful admissions …

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 …

Uganda’s scientists strive to use biotechnology to solve agricultural, health and environmental challenges

June 4th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project/

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
It is morning time, we are in a hotel based at the center of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, attending a stakeholders meeting on the subject how biotechnology cuts across all science-related sectors.
Among the attendees are students and recent graduates with degrees biotechnology. Among those …

Golden Rice meets food safety standards in three global leading regulatory agencies

May 30th, 2018 / IRRI

GR2E Golden Rice, a provitamin-A biofortified rice variety, completed its third positive food safety evaluation, this time from the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). In an official response received by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on 24 May (EST), the US FDA concurred with IRRI’s assessment …

Supporting a brooding hen

May 28th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Most African homes keep local chickens by free range system. They multiply naturally with hardly any input from the members of the household besides periodic cleaning of the room where the chickens go to roost at night.
Chickens are a good source of animal protein in …

Obasanjo wants biotechnology to end hunger globally

May 25th, 2018 / Guardian, Nigeria

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has canvassed the adoption of biotechnology in agriculture to end hunger across the world.
“If agricultural yields remains the same, we would need to cultivate more than double the present amount of land to feed that population. That is 82 per cent of our total land area …

Why Nigeria is adopting GMOs – Official

May 22nd, 2018 / Premium Times, Nigeria

Rose Gidado is the Scientific Officer and Assistant Director of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA). She is also the country coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa.
GM foods have been heavily criticised for their long term health effects and other demerits. However, in this interview …