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Optimizing Africa’s food systems

November 10th, 2015 / International Policy Digest, UK

In Africa, agriculture is not only a source of food and nutrition but of incomes, employing up to 64 percent of labor on the continent with women producing up to 80 percent of food. It is therefore the most accessible sector. Investments to enhance productivity in this sector will ensure …

Tackling post-harvest losses towards food security

November 9th, 2015 / Leadership, Nigeria

Post-harvest losses are losses which occur between the time of harvest and the time of human consumption and can be divided into quantitative and qualitative losses. Whichever way they occur, it is usually a loss to the farmer in particular and the nation at large as the value of that …

Rwanda: Farmers cautioned on seeds with short growth cycle

November 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

In Rwanda farmers have been cautioned against planting seeds with short maturity periods. The advice was given by Dr Daphrose Gahakwa, the deputy director general for research at Rwanda agriculture board (RAB) while advising on how farmers can cope during the dry season.”We have several varieties of short term seeds …

How we got to now: Why the US and Europe went different ways on GMOs

November 9th, 2015 / The conversation, UK

There is a myth that circulates: Americans accepted genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food supply without question, while the more precautionary Europeans rejected them. But GMOs went through a period of significant controversy in the US during the early years starting in the 1980s. A boomerang effect is only …

SA is world’s 9th largest GM crop producer

November 6th, 2015 / News24.com, South Africa

South Africa was the world’s ninth largest producer of genetically modified (GM) crops, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. Briefing the media on a Cabinet decision to approve the country’s Third National Report on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Radebe said the country remained …

Weeding through the facts on herbicide resistance

November 5th, 2015 / Food Insight, US

As long as farmers have been farming, crops have faced considerable damage from diseases, insects, and weeds. To combat these problems, producers use a range of crop protection products to keep their plants safe. Lately, we hear media reports about more and more weeds becoming resistant to herbicides. So what …

New plant breeding techniques: Innovation breakthrough or GMOs in disguise?

November 5th, 2015 / EurActiv.com

‘New plant breeding techniques’ focus on developing new seed traits within a given species through genetic engineering. A troubling question for policymakers is whether these techniques should fall under GMO legislation. Read …

The importance of using herbicides

November 4th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: These days, it is extremely difficult to practice productive farming without the use of chemicals to protect crops from pests, diseases as well as the weeds especially for the farmers that are operating on a large scale. Read …

Breeding higher yielding crops by increasing sugar import into seeds

November 3rd, 2015 / Science Daily, US

A team of scientists led by Carnegie’s Wolf Frommer has now discovered that a sugar-transport protein in maize and rice called SWEET4 is both necessary for successful seed filling and shows genome changes that indicate domestication by humans. The new research is published in Nature Genetics. Read …

Amaranth has bundles of money hidden in its grain

November 3rd, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa, Kenya

Amaranth can easily be mistaken for just another wondering weed. Yet, while some people sparingly use the plant as vegetables, Ann Muthoni, a nutrition expert in Kenya, is making unique flour out of it, which she sells through various supermarkets across the country including Tuskys, Clean Shelf and Kamidi. …