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The business of farming: How digitalisation is bringing Africa’s youth back into agriculture

November 21st, 2019 / CTA, Netherlands

Michael Hailu, Director of CTA, writes:

They say that the future belongs to the young. In Africa, the future of the continent’s agriculture almost certainly belongs to its youth. More than 60% of Africans are under 25, and every year, 10-12 million young people enter the job market in search of …

Launching digital agro-climate advisory platform in Ethiopia

November 18th, 2019 / AllAfrica

There was a time when traditional ecological knowledge was enough. When ancestral wisdom guided communities to sense the moods of the rains, the temperaments of the winds, the hidden messages of the clouds. Through these interpretations of nature, farming communities could foretell times of planting, times of abundance and times …

Redesigning photosynthesis in key crops could help sustain global food production

November 15th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists have solved the structure of one of the key components of photosynthesis, a discovery that could lead to photosynthesis being ‘redesigned’ to achieve higher yields and meet urgent food security needs.

The study, led by the University of Sheffield and published [Nov. 13] in the journal Nature, reveals the structure of cytochrome b6f …

VIDEO: CRISPR Technology and Its Potential to Transform Agriculture

November 15th, 2019 / FAO

Genetic tools like CRISPR can help reduce pesticide use, pollution and boost food production without employing more land and water, natural resources increasingly strained by the growing food demand of expanding populations in the developing world. View video of the panel …

New gene-edited canola variety resists deadly disease, expected to drastically boost crop yields

November 15th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Three new traits for canola, which can increase crop yields and reduce harmful environmental impacts, has been developed by Cibus, a biotechnology company that has pioneered precision gene editing for agriculture. The new traits pertain to pod shatter, resistance to Sclerotinia, and weed control.

The new traits precisely edit the canola genome to reduce pod shatter, the tendency …

China’s pork crisis is bigger than you think

November 13th, 2019 / Market Watch

One doesn’t appreciate the magnitude and importance of the role pork plays in the Chinese diet until you spend a bit of time here. The meat is so widely consumed, and such an integral part of so many beloved Chinese dishes, that one begins to take for granted that the …

Let’s trust African scientists in war on hunger

November 13th, 2019 / Business Daily Africa

In the West, daily, people are asking themselves, “What will I eat today?” But in my home, Africa, people daily are asking themselves a more challenging question: “Will I eat today?”

In reflecting on the second question, I have concluded that it is time for the public to put their trust …

For southern Africa, climate change is real as prolonged droughts are creating food shortages

November 8th, 2019

Southern Africa is feeling the effects of climate change. The United Nations is reporting that prolonged droughts there and across the continent have led to food shortages, which will impact 45 million people. 

Farming is prone to climate change as both livestock and crops are reactive to changes in temperatures and …

VIDEO: ‘If I don’t farm, we won’t eat’: Kenyan farmer illustrates the impact of crop disease in Africa

November 7th, 2019

Steven Oruko Kasamani is a smallholder farmer in Mayoni, Kenya, growing corn, soybean, kale and tomato to support a family of nine. Consumers in the developed world read news stories about growers like Mr. Kasamani, but rarely do they get a firsthand-look at just how difficult it is to farm …

Technologies for climate-resilient smallholder agriculture: sharing practices from Brazil with Africa

November 7th, 2019

Brazil and Africa share similar environmental, climate and social conditions, and both face similar development challenges. This creates interesting opportunities for South-South collaboration through technology transfer in several areas, including agriculture, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and value chains development.

Drawing on its fundamental goal of promoting rural development, as well …