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FAO launches mobile application to support fight against Fall Armyworm in Africa

March 21st, 2018 / Reliefweb

FAO has launched a mobile application to enable farmers, agricultural workers and other partners at the frontline of the fight against Fall Armyworm in Africa to identify, report the level of infestation, and map the spread of this destructive insect, as well as to describe its natural enemies and the …

Fast maturing maize, onion offers hope to farmers

March 21st, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

A seed company has unveiled new maize and onion varieties that are drought tolerant and guarantee increased yields. EA seeds introduced the new maize variety — Tosheka, an early maturing type that takes 90 days and is drought tolerant.
According to EA seed Marketing and Sales Manager, Macharia Chege, the maize …

The importance of using agricultural tools

March 19th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

<strong>B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
While farmers in the developed world have been empowered by the use of machinery in their day-to-day activities, those in developing world are still practicing rudimentary farming.
Yet mechanised agriculture is now being emphasised as the way forward.
Powered machinery has replaced many jobs formerly carried out by …

The fuss about biotechnology: Why?

March 19th, 2018 / The Nigerian Voice

Science, technological innovation and a fundamental understanding of nature are among the major drivers of progress. Today’s advances in the treatment of human disease have been made possible by the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and the DNA double-helix structure by Watson and Crick in 1953. These …

Disease-resistant GMO crops can reduce pesticide use

March 19th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Recently, University of Florida plant geneticists Zhonglin Mou and Kevin Folta, along with their team of graduate students, announced a new method to fight common diseases in fruit plants. Their discovery could drastically reduce the use of fungicides if widely implemented by growers!
Unfortunately, their methods may never be put to …

Is nature “natural” anymore?

March 16th, 2018 / Mapping Ignorance, Spain

It seems that we are definitely heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “more natural” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. Remarkably, this bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, …

Can media help to enhance the adoption of GMOs in Africa?

March 16th, 2018 / USJA, Uganda

COMESA is the only Regional Economic Community (REC) that has a policy on biotechnology and biosafety, taking into account the sovereign rights of the member states. COMESA has developed a plan to strengthen public awareness and communication on GMOs; one of the strategies aims to enhance reporting skills in science …

Bt Corn associated with higher yields, less insecticide use in neighboring fields

March 16th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In 1996, scientists introduced a type of transgenic maize with built-in protection against pests, such as the European corn borer, using genes derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that code for proteins toxic to some insects but harmless to humans. Since then, a host of studies have quantified the benefits—in …

Tanzania: New improved high-iron and zinc beans released

March 15th, 2018 / Sweet Potato Knowledge Portal

The high-iron beans are a special type of conventionally bred biofortified beans that contain high levels of iron and zinc. Biofortification enhances the nutritional value of staple food crops by increasing the density of vitamins and minerals in a crop through either conventional plant breeding, agronomic practices or biotechnology. Examples …

What is biodiversity and why does it matter to us?

March 15th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

The air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat all rely on biodiversity, but right now it is in crisis – because of us. What does this mean for our future and can we stop it? Read more …