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Who wants to farm? Youth aspirations, opportunities and rising food prices

January 7th, 2016 / Eldis, UK

In an era of land grabs and environmental uncertainty, improving smallholder productivity has become a higher priority on the poverty and food security agenda in development, focusing attention on the next generation of farmers. Yet emerging evidence about the material realities and social norms and desires of young people in …

Kenya regulator recommends lifting of ban GM crops

January 7th, 2016 / Mail and Guardian Africa

KENYA’S National Biosafety Authority recommended the government lift a ban on imports of genetically modified organisms as the body prepares to decide on applications by companies including Monsanto Co. for environmental release of their products in the East African nation. “We recommend lifting the ban,” National Biosafety Authority Chief Executive …

Kenyan Regulator to Decide On Fate of GMO Crops This Month

January 6th, 2016 / East African, Kenya

Kenyans will know whether genetically modified maize will be grown in the country at the end of this month. This follows an application by a group of scientists at the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation who are pushing for GM maize seeds …

Farming God’s way in the face of climate-related challenges

January 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssale writes “An Islamic farming manual, titled Farming God’s Way, written by Dr Husna Ahmad and Sam Adams, teaches that God appointed human beings to be guardians of the world, which He created and that it is their duty to safeguard this blessing and not to exploit …

Nitrogen-fixing tech aiding legume yields

January 5th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

A low-cost nitrogen fixing technology for legume crops is being given to small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe to improve national food and nutrition security. The Chemistry and Soil Research Institute in Zimbabwe is distributing sachets that contain inoculated Rhizobia bacteria — a technique for adding bacteria to a carrier medium to …

Opposition to GMOs is about corporations, not technology

January 5th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The positions of major NGOs on GMOs and climate change are quite consistent if one considers that the real issue is not opposition to GM technology, but rather to large petro/chemical companies. Large petro/oil companies commonly profit from fossil fuel usage; therefore policies which mean reduced fossil fuel usage are …

Six key messages wrapping up the International Year of Soils

January 5th, 2016 / FAO, Italy

In 2015 we celebrated the “International Year of Soils” and with good reason. Soil sustains all our agricultural and livestock food production, wood for fuel production, filters water so that we can drink it and fish can live in it. We also use it for construction – therefore it sustains …

Dry season farming yields more money

January 4th, 2016 / Leadership, Nigeria

Dr Idris Badiru, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Agric Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, says dry season farming yields more money to farmers. Badiru told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Sunday that farmers get more returns from less effort in dry season. The Agric …

Forage farming changes lives of Zimbabwe smallholder farmers

January 4th, 2016 / ILRI News

With the right training and support, food and nutrition insecurity can become a thing from the past. With training in conservation agriculture and fodder production practices, the Gore family have tripled their income in two years and are now able to pay for their children’s school fees. After buying goats, …

Resurrection plants could lead to more drought-tolerant crops

January 3rd, 2016 / AgWeb.com

Recent genome sequencing of Oropetium grass has given researchers a blueprint in distinguishing genes related to phenomenal plant resilience. The bizarre self-preservation abilities of resurrection plants like Oropetium hold tremendous promise toward engineering stronger drought-tolerance in crops, and the effects soon could reach farmland. Read …