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“Anti-GMO campaigners ‘play politics’ with food security and poverty, delaying sustainable farming”

April 20th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Prof. Benjamin Ubi, [president of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria] says the adoption of biotechnology will facilitate sustainable agricultural production in the country. He said that the adoption of biotechnology applications was the panacea to the current food challenges facing the country.
“Biotechnology, including genetic engineering and production of Genetically Modified …

Bumper crop of cocoa is no sweet deal for African farmers

April 20th, 2017 / MarketPlace, US

Seventy percent of cocoa comes from West Africa, mostly Ivory Coast and Ghana. The supply can swing way up or down depending on political instability and the weather there. “At times coca prices’ annualized volatility can be as much as 20 to 25 percent,” said James Butterfill, head of research …

Smart technologies to ensure sustainable farming

April 19th, 2017 / Ethiopian Herald

“There is something that we are not doing properly, that is why we keep on falling short of feeding the whole Africa,” mutters Dr. Kodjo P. Abassa, trying to get comfy on his chair. Dr. Abassa, former Adviser at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has worked for more …

10 Ways Young People Are Reinventing Agriculture In Africa

April 19th, 2017 / Africa.com

Around seventy percent of young people in Africa live in rural areas. Rather than migrate, more and more are getting involved in agriculture. Young people are changing how the world sees the sector.
Here are ten ways African youth are contributing to reinventing and redefining agriculture. Read …

Zambia’s women contribute to cassava growing boom

April 18th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Born in a small town of Mufulira, on the Copper Belt province of Zambia in 1960, Winnie Nachivula, is making a mark in the cassava production in Zambia which currently stands at over 1 million metric tonnes per year, making it the most important crop grown in Zambia after maize.
Cassava …

Nigeria: Agric extension workers: SADP adopts World Bank standard ratio

April 18th, 2017 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe writes: Sokoto state government has planned to adopt the World Bank standard ratio of extension worker to farmers in order to boost support for farmers in the state.
Programme Manager of Sokoto Agricultural Development Project (SADP), Abubakar Sadiq Malami told Saturday Vanguard on Friday that ‎the move …

Vicious circle of poverty and food insecurity

April 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: A poor household is usually malnourished, and vulnerable to disease and other evils. Uganda is known to be well endowed with fertile soil and bi-annual rainfall. Yet we have thousands of households that are too poor to produce enough food for their nutritional requirements or …

Soil microbiome – research into practice

April 17th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

The previous blog looked at the extraordinary complexity of life supported by soils, in particular healthy, productive soils. This is especially true in the rhizosphere, the soils directly affected by plant root secretions. Key functions modulated by microbes include plant nutrition through the release of inorganic phosphorous in soils, the …

The significance of smallholder farms in the global food system

April 17th, 2017 / The Lancet Planetary Health, UK

When many of us contemplate the role of agriculture in feeding 7·2 billion people, we picture large-scale, industrialised, and efficient systems that produce lots of food that is shipped around the world. Although those systems are relevant, they are only one dimension of what agriculture consists of, who feeds us, …

Will organic community embrace gene editing if it restores ancient crops?

April 17th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The majority of plants used in organic farming were conventionally bred to select for traits that increased productivity and are not suited for organic farming where pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer usage is limited. Significant inbreeding during the selection process has led to loss of several beneficial traits such as salt …