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Demonstration farms can help revolutionise African agriculture

June 28th, 2017 / The Conversation, Africa

Farms that are used to teach agricultural techniques and technologies – known as demonstration farms – are a smart investment that can help accelerate the adoption of game-changing innovations. Farmers can learn new ways of doing things without having to do it on their farms.
Demonstration farms are used to teach …

World Food Prize laureate: future of African youth lies in agriculture, not Europe

June 28th, 2017 / VoA.com

Making agriculture profitable and “cool” for young people in Africa is key to lifting millions out of poverty and stemming migration to Europe, said the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Akinwumi Adesina was named the winner of this year’s World Food Prize on Monday for his decades-long work to …

Future of corn: genetics could improve maize’s sustainability and productivity

June 20th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A new, much more detailed reference genome for maize, or corn, as it is called in the U.S., [was] published in Nature [June 12]. In its accounting of the sequence of DNA letters in the plant’s 10 chromosomes, the new version helps us understand as never before why maize, and …

How to practice climate smart farming with ease

June 16th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farming and environment The continued unpredictable weather pattern is largely due to environmental degradation that impacts negatively on farming. But whereas farmers are directly affected by the effects they have not been mindful of conserving the environment.
“You cry of drought, lack of water but what efforts are you putting up …

Rising opportunities for youth in African agrifood systems

June 14th, 2017 / World Bank, US

Africa’s share of the global population is projected to rise dramatically from 12% in 2015 to 23% by 2050. This huge demographic trend will certainly amplify Africa’s political and economic impact on the rest of the world, and this impact will largely be determined by young Africans between 15-35 years …

The enormous challenge of sustainably feeding an expanding population

June 14th, 2017 / GMO Answers

Dr Esther Ngumbi writes: According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. This presents an enormous challenge and necessitates the need to find sustainable ways to grow food to feed this expanding population.
Just like the challenge is …

Tanzanian farmers urge gov’t to hasten delivery of GE crops

June 8th, 2017 / ISAAA

Farmers in Mwanza Province, North Eastern Tanzania have urged their government to hasten delivery of biotech crops, which they say, may save them from crop failure. The maize, cassava, and cotton farmers whose crop has been severely affected by stalk borer pests, cassava mosaic disease and African cotton bollworm respectively, …

Nitrogen-efficient crops on the horizon: Can we grow more with fewer emissions?

June 4th, 2017 / CGIR Wheat

Through a natural, affordable alternative to farmers’ heavy use of nitrogen fertilizers, science now offers an option to boost crop productivity and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the authors of a report that will appear this week in the journal Plant Science.
The new study describes certain plants that …

Grow rice, bananas together to fight climate change

May 30th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

They say desperate times call for desperate measures and for farmers in northern Uganda grappling with climate change, intercropping rice with bananas has helped a great deal, writes Tobbias Jolly Owiny.
Growing banana in rice fields and vice versa would probably have been dismissed as “unthinkable” by traditional farmers, but farmers …

CRISPR gene editing can cause hundreds of unintended mutations

May 30th, 2017 / Phys.org

As CRISPR-Cas9 starts to move into clinical trials, a new study published in Nature Methods has found that the gene-editing technology can introduce hundreds of unintended mutations into the genome.
“We feel it’s critical that the scientific community consider the potential hazards of all off-target mutations caused by CRISPR, including single …