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The cereals imperative of future food systems

October 16th, 2019

Pioneering research on our three most important cereal grains — maize, rice, and wheat — has contributed enormously to global food security over the last half century, chiefly by boosting the yields of these crops and by making them more resilient in the face of drought, flood, pests and diseases. …

Food loss and waste is a global issue

October 16th, 2019

FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture 2019

The idea of food being lost or wasted sounds simple, but in practice there is no commonly agreed definition. 

Essentially, food loss and waste is the decrease in quantity or quality of food along the food supply chain. 

Food loss occurs along the food supply chain from …

How these women scientists will help Africa adapt to changing climate

October 15th, 2019

A group of 25 women from eastern and western Africa have joined the list of young researchers racing to bridge the shortage of women agriculture scientists in Africa.

The women will build the next generation of scientists working with smallholder farmers to battle climate change in Africa’s troubled agriculture sector, according …

Why biotechnology is necessary in agriculture

October 14th, 2019

The Federal Government in recent times has been developing a lot of of measures for the application of biotechnology in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

Prof. Alex Akpa, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) stated at the opening of a 5-day workshop on Basic Laboratory Training on Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) …

How farmers can gain better farm knowledge

October 14th, 2019

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Good farmers should continuously seek new knowledge about their work. Farming is dynamic and agricultural practices keep changing. New markets for agricultural products often come with new conditions that have to be met. 

Time and again challenges crop up and a farmer will need guidance on how …

Why Nigeria should promote youth-driven, technology-supported agriculture for SDGs

October 11th, 2019

Agriculture has the potentialities to provide jobs for young people and help African countries to achieve sustainable development goals. 

Based on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG12) that seeks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, and SDG2 which seeks to end hunger, achieving food security and promote sustainable agriculture, youths in …

Can the gene editing technology known as CRISPR help reduce biodiversity loss worldwide?

October 11th, 2019

It’s been an alarming year for the world’s outlook on biodiversity. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) put the world on notice that around 1 million species are facing extinction. A study published in August concluded that it would take New Zealand 50 million years to recover the diversity …

Cost-effective technology can enrich poor fields, increase yields close to 50%

October 11th, 2019

Smallholder poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is often linked to sandy soils, which hold little water and are low in nutrients. A new technology may be able to enrich fields and farmers without massive investments in irrigation and fertilizer.

Many farmers across sub-Saharan Africa try to coax crops out of sandy soils that are …

South African youth doesn’t like farming because it’s not sexy. True or false?

October 9th, 2019

Some agribusinesses and agriculturalists argue that vocational training institutions are not efficiently producing skills needed for agriculture today, and that might be part of the reason why some young people are not finding work in this sector.

It has become fashionable in conferences to say “let’s make agriculture sexy in order …

GMO wheat varieties boost crop yields 20-30% in field trial

October 9th, 2019

Studies conducted at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) showed experimental genetically modified (GM) wheat lines [have] the potential to significantly increase yields. These lines ‘overexpress’ three wild-type plant genes, either individually or in combination, and were developed to test whether targeting individual wheat genes could lead to improvements in yield.

In greenhouse studies conducted at …