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Microbes, new weapon against agricultural pests in Africa

April 26th, 2017 / IPS News, US

Microscopic soil organisms could be an environmentally friendly way to control crop pests and diseases and even protect agriculture against the impacts of climate change, a leading researcher says.
Africa is battling an outbreak of trans-boundary pests and diseases like the invasive South America fall armyworm (FAW), tomato leaf miner and …

10 Ways Young People Are Reinventing Agriculture In Africa

April 19th, 2017 / Africa.com

Around seventy percent of young people in Africa live in rural areas. Rather than migrate, more and more are getting involved in agriculture. Young people are changing how the world sees the sector.
Here are ten ways African youth are contributing to reinventing and redefining agriculture. Read …

Africa’s agriculture needs new blood, but young people are attracted to the cities

April 14th, 2017 / Development & Cooperation

The growing population of Africa needs food, but millions of young people are looking for jobs and future prospects. The countryside offers lots of opportunities for employment but suffers from a lack of attractiveness.
It is the well-educated young Africans, in particular, that are leaving rural areas for the cities. A …

How nanobiotechnology could transform agriculture at every level

April 13th, 2017 / Huffington Post, India

Considering the advancements in science and technology, nanotechnology is being visualised as a rapidly evolving field that has the potential to revolutionise agriculture and food systems. Nanotechnology, when applied as a tool, in tandem with other measures, can seek to address some of the world’s most critical sustainable development problems …

Genetically engineered microbes make their own fertiliser

April 11th, 2017 / Science, US

Industrial fertilizers help feed billions of people every year, but they remain beyond the reach of many of the world’s poorest farmers. Now, researchers have engineered microbes that, when added to soil, make fertilizer on demand, producing plants that grow 1.5 times larger than crops not exposed to the bugs …

How to build a sustainable farming and food supply chain across Africa

April 10th, 2017 / African Business Review, South Africa

By 2050, the world will be home to some 9.7 billion people and it is expected that food production will need to double by this time to accommodate this steep rise in population. Over half of the world’s crops are produced by smallholder farmers, yet these farmers, particularly those based …

Africa is gardening the Sahel to keep the desert out. Is it working?

April 5th, 2017 / TRT World

It’s been almost 9 years since Senegal planted the first tree in the Sahel region, as part of the Great Green Wall initiative. How is it going? Read …

How to feed 9.7 billion people? CRISPR gene editing for crops

April 4th, 2017 / Singularityhub.com

It’s no secret that we’re going to struggle to feed the rapidly expanding global population. New genome editing technologies could hold the answer, according to scientists.
The number of humans on this planet is expected to hit 9.7 billion by 2050, and crop demand is predicted to increase by 100 to …

New generation of GMO crops could dramatically increase yield

April 4th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Farmers could one day control when their crops ripen after the development of modified rice that flowers on demand.
Despite how advanced our agricultural technology has become, outdoor plants still develop according to the whims of nature — the gentle warmth of early summer sun, the soft patter of spring rains.
Japanese …

Effective biosecurity key to food security in Africa

April 4th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Poor capacity in biosecurity remains a major obstacle to agricultural trade in Africa and limits farmers’ incomes and food security, a meeting has heard.
The 4th Africa Plant Biosecurity Network workshop held in Zambia on 27 February-3 March noted that effective biosecurity system could boost regional and international trade in agricultural …