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GMO wheat varieties boost crop yields 20-30% in field trial

October 9th, 2019

Studies conducted at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) showed experimental genetically modified (GM) wheat lines [have] the potential to significantly increase yields. These lines ‘overexpress’ three wild-type plant genes, either individually or in combination, and were developed to test whether targeting individual wheat genes could lead to improvements in yield.

In greenhouse studies conducted at …

Agricultural intensification key to spurring Ghana’s economic growth

October 9th, 2019

Ghana has been viewed as one of Africa’s political and economic success stories, from maintaining a multi-party democracy, peace and social cohesion to reducing poverty and growing its middle class. 

Yet, despite 30 years of continuous growth in per capita income and rapid urbanization, the country has not been able to …

No ‘magical’ alternative to glyphosate in the next 5 years

October 7th, 2019

In the next five years, no alternative to glyphosate is going to “magically” appear in the market,  Dr Bob Reiter, a high-ranking official from Bayer, told EURACTIV.com, referring to the controversial herbicide that has been the subject of heated debates across Europe.

Speaking to EURACTIV on the sidelines of the Future of …

Why schools must emphasise farming

October 7th, 2019

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali explains: In his essay titled ‘Education for Self-Reliance’ Mwalimu Julius Nyerere spoke of a situation where the type of education provided to Tanzanian children soon after the country’s independence was divorced from the society which it was supposed to prepare them for. 

He argued that children were …

The key to food security in Africa lies in the treasure trove of global crop biodiversity

October 7th, 2019

Global plant diversity could be a lifeline for food security in sub-Saharan Africa, finds a new study. 

The analysis reveals that replacing some at-risk African food crops with more resilient crops from other parts of the world, as well as tapping the huge genetic diversity of crop wild relatives, could help shore up …

IAEA, FAO help develop bananas resistant to major fungal disease

October 1st, 2019

Bananas may be the world’s favourite fruit, but plantations worldwide are increasingly under threat from a new fungus, which destroys banana plants threatening farmers’ livelihoods and the industry.

Confined to Southeast Asia for decades, the Fusarium wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4) was spotted for the first time in Africa recently and …

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

September 30th, 2019

New technologies and policies are needed to meet the skyrocketing demand for wheat, which is expected to increase 50 to 60 percent by 2050.

That was the key takeaway from the recent International Wheat Congress (IWC) in Saskatoon, Canada, which attracted over 900 delegates from 50 different countries, including researchers from …

FAO underlines role of forests in food security

September 30th, 2019

The role of forests in supporting food security and nutrition in Africa remains largely under-researched, the Food and Agriculture Organization said.

FAO country representative Gabriel Rugalema said adequate attention has not been given at policy level to the link between forests and food security and nutrition.

“With food security and nutrition high …

New research paves way to make more crops resilient to floods

September 26th, 2019 / Live Mint

With the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events causing severe damage to crops worldwide, a new study has paved way to enhance flood tolerance of more crops species through genetic engineering.

In a new research published in peer-reviewed journal, Science, scientists studied how other crops behaved when submerged …

Africa: the food industry needs to do more to support heathy foods

September 26th, 2019 / AllAfrica

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Director-General Qu Dongyu has called for the food industry to do more to support healthy foods, and to reduce food loss and waste throughout the cycle of food systems from farm to fork.

“Nutrition should not be an ends in itself, but rather a means …