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Are Biotech crops safe to eat?

June 27th, 2017 / Business Mirror, Philippines

ARE biotech crops, which are spliced with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), safe to eat?
Opponents, mostly composed of private individuals, non-governmental organizations and international activists, say they are not. Proponents—who are mostly scientists (including Nobel Prize winners), health officials and United Nations agencies—claim they are!
Now, the International Service for the Acquisition …

Improved seeds, the answer to Africa’s food security needs

June 27th, 2017 / News Ghana

For Africa to become self-sufficient in food production, what it needs are improved seeds, rather than huge machinery, Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture in Ghana declared here on Wednesday.
In his address at the 10th Anniversary of the West African Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI) the minister said …

Soil pollution comes under scrutiny

June 27th, 2017 / FAO, Italy

Soil pollution, due mostly to human activities that leave excess chemicals in soils used to grow food, took centre stage at the 5th Global Soil Partnership (GSP) Plenary Assembly held at FAO headquarters this week.
Excess nitrogen and trace metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury can impair plant metabolism …

Africa still hesitant to adapt agricultural biotech

June 23rd, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Lack of funding, loss of trained technical expertise, slow development of the biotechnology sector, lack of political will and the issue of public acceptance brought by activism are the main challenges facing many African countries especially, East African countries on biotechnology and bio-safety.
A three-day workshop held in Mwanza Region, organized …

What role can agricultural extension and advisory services play in realizing gender equality and improved nutrition?

June 23rd, 2017 / FAO, Rome

The Nutrition Working Group of the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), of which FAO is a member, invites you to reflect on the role that agricultural extension and advisory services (AEAS) can play in contributing to reducing gender inequalities and improving nutrition. Gender equality and nutrition are quite …

Why technologies could hook the youth to agriculture

June 23rd, 2017 / SciDev.net

Strengthening resilience and food security for agricultural communities is necessary for transforming agriculture, wellness and development of people, especially the youth, in Africa.
Salient to me from the Ministerial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition and the 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition in Kenya last week (14-16 June) …

African countries launch the Global Report on Commercialized Biotech/GM

June 22nd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

For Africa, 2016 was the 19th year of commercialization of biotech crops. A total of 13 countries, up from 11 in 2015 either planted, conducted trials or transitioned to granting approvals for general release of various biotech crops. South Africa and Sudan grew a total of 2.8 million hectares of …

Research found way to improve nitrogen fixation in legumes

June 22nd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the University of Kentucky led by Professor Hongyan Zhu have discovered a more efficient way for legumes to fix nitrogen. Zhu and his team found two antimicrobial peptides in the legume Medicago truncatula that kill certain rhizobial bacteria as nitrogen fixation begins. M. truncatula is closely related to …

Biotechnology could spur Africa’s industrialisation

June 22nd, 2017 / Southern Times

An industrial development strategy could be built on the back of Africa’s agricultural sector underpinned by the adoption of new and emerging technologies such as biotechnology to support improved yields, value addition and services that feed into the whole agro-processing value chain, a top Common Market for Eastern and Southern …

When is the right time to plant sweet potatoes and how best?

June 21st, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Dr. Jolly Mary Kabirizi, Senior Principal Research Officer/Forage scientist, National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI) writes:
Sweet potatoes are planted at the beginning of the rainy season to get best results. The vines are grown on mounds and ridges of varying sizes. A mound should be 100cm wide and 60cm high, …