In the news...

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 …

African countries need to push climate smart agriculture

May 30th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The World Bank recently launched one of its largest climate smart agriculture initiatives in India. Through this $420 million initiative, the bank expects to reach over 25 million smallholder farmers working on 3.5 million hectares of land. The project will support climate-smart agricultural practices including crop diversification and planting of …

Candidate gene for drought tolerance found in wheat

May 30th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The calcineurin B-like protein (CBL)-interacting protein kinase (CIPK) signaling pathway responds to various abiotic stresses in plants. The research team of Xiao-Yu Cui and Yong-Tao Du from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences studied the CIPK23 gene from wheat (Triticum aestivum). Read more and for more detailed …

CRISPR-edited rice plants produce major boost in grain yield

May 29th, 2018 / Purdue Agricultural News

A team of scientists from Purdue University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has used CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology to develop a variety of rice that produces 25-31 percent more grain and would have been virtually impossible to create through traditional breeding methods.
The team, led by Jian-Kang Zhu, a distinguished professor …

Mozambique is ready for GMO crops

May 29th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

“People in Mozambique are not worried about GMOs,” Rose Moreira, who works with National Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique, told the Alliance for Science. “They are willing to have very good products from industry, commerce and technology. People are not looking at what they have on the shelves. They …

Pink pineapples and healthy fries: The new GM foods made for you

May 28th, 2018 / New Scientist, UK

From health benefits to increased flavour and longer shelf-life, discover the new generation of GM foods designed with the consumer in mind. Read …

CTA’s Central African cassava project to benefit 10,000 smallholder farmers

May 28th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) has launched a new project in Kinshasa to explore cassava’s economic potential in agricultural value chains in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Cameroon.
According to CTA, a number of 10 cassava cooperatives will be targeted with a total membership of …

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 …