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Will banana crisis force more rational consideration of GMOs?

December 14th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The new strain of Panama Disease, known as Tropical Race 4, has already spread from Southeast Asia across the rest of the continent, as well as to Africa, the Middle East and Australia. Whenever it makes what researchers say is an inevitable jump to Latin America, it will devastate commercial …

Adaptation is key if Africa is to tackle climate change

December 10th, 2015 / The Conversation

The current and projected severe impacts of climate change in Africa make adaptation an urgent priority. While reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a vital task, adaptation to the impacts of climate change is needed now as well as the next few decades. But adaptation faces many challenges: institutional, technical, political, …

The genetic revolution could curb world hunger and pesticide use

December 10th, 2015 / Huffington Post

Over the past year or so, researchers around the world have begun using a new gene-editing technique that has the potential to help stop world hunger, end the use of pesticides and improve our health. CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to change, delete or replace DNA more easily than ever before. Theoretically, …

Is food security breaking through in Paris climate talks?

December 10th, 2015 / Huffington Post

The latest news from Paris is cautiously optimistic that we will have an agreement by Friday. What does it mean for agriculture and food security? Although the French government has shown great leadership championing agriculture at COP21, it is not yet really on the table for the negotiators. The good …

Study: Crop biotechnology essential to feeding more people on same arable land

December 8th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project

Looking at trends from large sets of data on population, resources and food production shows there are good reasons to be optimistic about our ability to meet the food requirements of the projected 9-10 billion people on our planet by the middle of this century. It also appears we are …

Climate change threat to food security in Nigeria – Buhari

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that climate change poses a threat to food security in Nigeria as extreme events such as flooding and drought are on the increase. Stating Nigeria’s position yesterday at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) ongoing in Paris, France, he disclosed that such factors have …

What everyone should know about cut-and-paste genetics

December 1st, 2015 / Nature, UK

The ethics of human-genome editing is in the spotlight again as a large international meeting on the topic is poised to kick off in Washington DC. Ahead of the summit, which is being jointly organized by the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Medicine, the …

Tanzania gives farmers U.S.$36 million for inputs and improved seeds

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Tanzania has disbursed 2,999,778 vouchers for agriculture inputs worth $36.4 million (Tsh78.1 billion) to 999,993 farmers on the mainland so as to prepare for the new agricultural season 2015/2016. “The input subsidy vouchers have benefited many farmers of maize and rice crops by increasing production of these crops and …

Budget squeeze for South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council amid drought

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC), one of South Africa’s key weapons in the fight against the current drought, has seen its net surplus decline by 300% during 2014/2015. While still in the black the ARC has experienced a 300% decrease in its surplus from R137m to R34m for the …

Project embeds young African climate researchers

December 1st, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Back in the 1980s, African scientists contributed less than two per cent of the papers in global climate change publications. This dire situation remained the same for almost 30 years. Climate models and growing evidence suggest Africa is likely to feel some of the worst impacts of climate change. …