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“Amazing protein diversity” is discovered in the maize plant

June 29th, 2016 / Phys.org

The genome of the corn plant – or maize, as it’s called almost everywhere except the US – “is a lot more exciting” than scientists have previously believed. So says the lead scientist in a new effort to analyze and annotate the depth of the plant’s genetic resources. Read …

European Parliament double standard on GM crops: the saga of two elephants fighting.

June 28th, 2016 / Diran Makinde, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)-ABNE

The call, in a report made by the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, not to support genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa is unfortunate and an attempt to institutionalise poverty on the continent. The G7 group of nations’ joint initiative with …

Africa needs heroes – with ideas and vision

June 24th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

For most people, the notion of a hero conjures up images of brave individuals risking their lives for others, or “superheroes” from comic books or films, armed with supernatural powers. But what Africa needs, each and every day, are heroes of a different sort – “action heroes” with ideas and …

Crop breeding must speed up to keep up with climate change

June 24th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Crop yields will fall within the next decade due to climate change unless immediate action is taken to speed up the introduction of new and improved varieties, experts have warned. Dr Andy Jarvis, from CIAT (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture), said: “Investment in agricultural research to develop and disseminate new …

Tanzania’s read to transact business on GM crops.

June 24th, 2016 / ISAAA. US

The Permanent Secretary of Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Florens Turuka has vouched for the country’s readiness to transact business on GM crops. Speaking at the launch of the ISAAA Global Report on Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops (2015), Honorable Turuka said the government intends to revolutionize agriculture by …

Setting out to grow bananas

June 23rd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: Over 70 per cent of farmers in Uganda grow bananas. It is one our major food crops and in order to enjoy good harvests the farmer should apply the right farming practices. It is important to begin with clearing the site to remove bushes and …

AfDB President: We’re tired of being in the dark

June 23rd, 2016 / The Africa Report

AfDB president Adesina wants to use the bank to de-risk investments in electricity and agriculture and so help transform the continent’s economies. Read …

New technologies can reduce post-harvest losses, end aflatoxin infestation

June 23rd, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

From infestation to mold, inadequate storage facilities often lead to large grain losses in many countries, hampering efforts to improve national food security for the poorest families. Even efforts by national governments across Africa to store grain in large quantities have often yielded disappointing results. Read …

Are donors pulling back on agriculture research funding?

June 22nd, 2016 / Devex.com

Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people depend almost entirely on agriculture for subsistence and income. One in nine people in the world today are undernourished, according to the United Nations, and World Bank data shows humanity needs to produce at least 50 percent more food by 2050 to feed an …

Soil immune responses

June 22nd, 2016 / Science, US

Soil microorganisms are central to the provision of food, feed, fiber, and medicine. Engineering of soil microbiomes may promote plant growth and plant health, thus contributing to food security and agricultural sustainability (1, 2). However, little is known about most soil microorganisms and their impact on plant health. Disease-suppressive soils …