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HH Pope Francis’s concerns are for corporate power, not GMOs

June 18th, 2015 / New York Times, US

HH Pope Francis’s encyclical, “Laudato Si’ — On the Care of Our Common Home,” includes a passage on industrial-scale agriculture, including genetically engineered crops. Notably, Francis acknowledges the lack of evidence for human health risks from such technologies. He focuses his criticism on the societal impacts of concentrated monoculture farming, …

Uganda: we need crop intensification

June 18th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

A socio-economic survey has shown the need for farmers as well as policy makers to make use of research to enhance crop intensification. While it helps the former boost productivity, it provides the latter with evidence to identify the constraints at individual, household, community, market, and policy levels. The survey was …

Bringing services to the farmers

June 17th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Like other regions in Uganda, West Nile is endowed with resources to enable successful farming. B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru visited a research institute that is supporting the farmers to boost their productivity. Its programmes, which the scientists are working on, include crop breeding. The focus is on varieties such as …

Web portal provides open data on food and nutrition security

June 16th, 2015 / IFPRI, US

“The portal will host a broad set of open data related to food and nutrition security and early warning mechanisms, as well as opportunities for dialogue among policymakers, researchers, the private sector, and other stakeholders,” said Maximo Torero, Director of the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division at the International Food …

Increasing smallholder farmer production, nutrition, and income

June 14th, 2015 / The Ethiopian Herald

Increasing smallholder farmer production through the adoption of modern agricultural practices and technologies is a key to meeting productivity targets. The proper technologies can ameliorate the efficiency of seed and fertilizer use, as well as reduce labour time and post-harvest losses, as they increase grain quality and incomes.  Read …

Buhari counts on private-sector led agriculture to feed Nigerians

June 12th, 2015 / AFK Insider, US

According to Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari, private investment in the country’s agriculture sector is the best way of unlocking its potential of feeding its citizens and reducing over-dependence on oil to develop the country. The oil rich country has come into headwinds since the last quarter of 2014 as …

The rise of Africa’s super vegetables

June 12th, 2015 / Nature, UK

Indigenous vegetables are in vogue. They fill shelves at large supermarkets even in Nairobi, and seed companies are breeding more of the traditional varieties every year. Kenyan farmers increased the area planted with such greens by 25% between 2011 and 2013. Demand has boomed – welcome news for agricultural researchers and nutritional …

To fight hunger and poverty, Africa’s farms must modernise

June 11th, 2015 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Africa desperately needs agricultural modernisation. With the most rapidly growing population in the world and hundreds of millions still suffering malnutrition, African leaders cannot afford to close the door to innovation, says Mark Lynas, adding that part of the problem has been political resistance to adopting new and improved technologies, …

Nigeria: providing the world with better quality food and produce

June 11th, 2015 / This Day Live, Nigeria

“With the appropriately trained technical and vocational education training (TVET) specialists manning our most critical sectors of agriculture, Nigeria can use biotechnology to the best advantage, providing the world with better quality food and produce, ramping-up its industrial production of agro-allied products, managing its waste by converting them into useful …

Africa deepens FAO ties to increase food security

June 10th, 2015 / FAO, Rome

The African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and FAO are deepening their ties to bolster national capacities to cope with climate change, enhance food security and support sustainable food production. Projects to harness private-sector support in building efficient and inclusive agricultural value chains and helping smallholder farmers …