In the news...

Biotech crops continue to help meet the challenges of increased population and climate change

August 22nd, 2019 / ISAAA, US

A total of 70 countries adopted biotech crops through cultivation and importation in 2018, the 23rd year of continuous biotech crop adoption, according to the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018(ISAAA Brief 54) released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) today. Twenty-six countries (21 …

Access to extension services and guaranteed markets remain a problem for farmers

August 22nd, 2019 / Ghana Business News

A study  conducted by the Africa RISING Project, Ghana has revealed that access to extension services, guaranteed markets for produce and poor road networks, continues to be a major problem confronting farmers in the country.

The study, “Assessing institutions enabling or constraining access to output and input markets by farm house-holds …

Transforming cassava wastes to wealth as a climate-change mitigation strategy in Nigeria

August 21st, 2019 / CTA, Netherlands

Cassava production and processing in Nigeria generates large quantities of hazardous wastes and residues. Aside from the environmental hazards, such wastes contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An innovative climate-smart intervention in Nigeria is to re-use the cassava peels in animal feeds. This reduces the demand for maize for feed, …

Afrobarometer: Climate change literacy still low in Africa

August 21st, 2019 / Mail and Guardian, South Africa

The recent havoc caused by tropical cyclone Idai which struck the southern African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi is a grim reminder that Africa remains the most vulnerable continent as far as climate change mitigation is concerned.

A new survey released by Afrobarometer paints a bleak picture of how agriculture …

Leading scientists say fears about GM products are unjustified

August 21st, 2019 / Australian Academy of Science

It was a stunning admission by one of the leaders in the global fight against genetically modified food.

“As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counterproductive path …

How a fierce debate over GMO could determine the future of agriculture in Africa

August 20th, 2019 / Fast Company

Ghana plans to release genetically modified cowpea seeds this year or next, which would make it the third sub-Saharan African country to approve the local production and sale of GM food. But will they benefit the small farmers they were designed for? Read more … …

Video: CRISPRcon 2019 – panel discussion: Growing for good? gene editing and agriculture

August 19th, 2019 / Global Farmer Network

CRISPR and other gene editing technologies could allow us to transform our food, health, and ecological systems. They also raise important questions about risks, benefits, ethics, equity, and more. We know that the science behind gene editing technologies is just one piece of the puzzle. Just as essential is dialogue …

New breeding technologies needed to meet skyrocketing demand for wheat, scientists warn

August 19th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Some 2.5 billion consumers in 89 countries already depend on wheat as a staple food, and demand is expected to rise significantly as the world’s population tops 9 billion or more and 6.3 billion city dwellers buy convenience food. With approximately 15 percent of the planet’s arable land planted with …

Subsidies are key to better fertiliser access, study shows

August 16th, 2019

Subsidies for manufacturing companies could help improve access to fertiliser in developing countries without increasing environmental stress, a team of international researchers has proposed.

In an article reviewing scientific evidence, the team presented a strategy to manage global fertiliser use while minimising nitrogen pollution — a common side effect. They note that it will be …

Microorganisms could help rid soil of lingering pesticides

August 16th, 2019

Pesticides have been widely used after the Second World War in management of weeds, diseases and pests of plants. Most of these have persistent nature and cause serious environmental concerns. They can be managed only through the biological agents for remediation of agricultural soils. The crop fields are normally over …