In the news...

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 …

Making food without photosynthesis

August 19th, 2019 / Biology Fortified, US

We live in interesting times. The specters of overpopulation and climate change are constantly in the headlines. The possible threat of global food shortages as a result of increased food demand and climate change-induced crop failures is hovering just over the horizon. And we keep hearing the same mantra: we can’t …

Agriculture groups tout the benefits of animal composting

August 16th, 2019

Composting brings up images of buckets of scrap food and lawn trimmings. But the University of Illinois Extension Office took the idea one step further as they showed farmers how to compost livestock. 

Brian Gordon is a farmer in Iroquois County.

“One of the biggest diseases right now is actually African swine fevers — …

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 …

E-learning education conference looks to unlock Africa’s future

August 16th, 2019

eLearning Africa, an annual pan-African conference dedicated to examining the potential for using new communications technology to spread educational opportunity, is now in its 14th year.

Since the conference, which visits a different African capital each year, was first held in Addis Ababa in 2006, technology assisted learning has expanded and …

OFAB Nigeria takes biotechnology awareness to schools

August 15th, 2019

The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Nigeria chapter has stepped up its efforts to raise awareness and appreciation on agricultural biotechnology by rolling out a biotechnology awareness program in Nigerian schools.

OFAB inaugurated the first Biotechnology and Biosafety Club (BBClub) in Nigeria where students irrespective of age can be brought together and …

Small-scale farms hit hardest by African swine fever

August 15th, 2019

Almost five million pigs in Asia have now died or been culled because of the spread of African swine fever (ASF), according to reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs was first detected in Asia …

African swine fever continues relentless spread through Asia and Europe

August 15th, 2019

Serbian officials this week confirmed that African swine fever has infected hogs in their nation, making it the 18th country battling the incurable disease.

The virus’ worldwide spread began in earnest a year ago when it was reported in China. It has since spread relentlessly through that country and beyond, first …