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Nigeria looks to ‘white gold’ for economic recovery

August 9th, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Rising rice production is one of the few positives of Nigeria’s recession, which is the West African country’s worst in 25 years. Today about 5.7 million tonnes of rice are being produced every year – three times as much as a decade ago.
“We are now living a white gold revolution,” …

Can genetic modification turn annual crops into perennials?

August 3rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The last several decades have witnessed a remarkable increase in crop yields — doubling major grain crops since the 1950s. But a significant part of the world still suffers from malnutrition, and these gains in grains and other crops probably won’t be enough to feed a growing global population.
These facts …

African leaders urged to embrace science in agriculture

August 1st, 2017 / Ghana News Agency

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, has called on African governments to embrace and invest in science and technology to transform the agricultural sector.
Dr Akoto said there was no way to develop agriculture without science, adding that it was imperative forAfrican continent to prioritise the role of …

Gov’t imports predators to kill fall armyworm

July 28th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

In a bid to completely contain the killer fall armyworm, government has imported prowling insects which will eat the heavily destructive worm.
On Thursday at the ongoing National Agricultural Trade Show in Jinja, Dr Imelda Kashaija, the deputy director general for technology at Naro, revealed the predators are being tested by …

Genetically engineered yeast soaks up heavy metal pollution

July 24th, 2017 / American Council on Science and Health

Environmental contamination with heavy metals is often the result of various types of industrial processes. Because heavy metals can be dangerous to humans and other wildlife, contaminated sites need to be cleaned up. This isn’t easy. Chemical extraction methods can introduce different types of pollutants into the environment.
Bioremediation — using …

Plant genetics, ecologically based farming and the future of food

July 21st, 2017 / John Wiley, US

For 10,000 years, we have altered the genetic makeup of our crops. Conventional approaches are often quite crude, resulting in new varieties through a combination of trial and error, and without knowledge of the precise function of the genes that are being transferred. Such methods include grafting or forced pollinations …

Tanzania: Agro-enterprises to benefit from new innovation centre

July 19th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

THE Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) has introduced agriculture innovation centre (AIC) to support and incubate agro-enterprises that have potential to grow with a special focus on value addition.
PASS Managing Director Mr Nicomed Bohay said at the ongoing Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) that already 10 companies have …

Inside how donors are hurting Africa

July 18th, 2017 / The Southern Times

Money from wealthy nations is hurting Africa and not helping the continent as it continues to be trapped in slower economic growth and rising unemployment, a new report by Tony Blair’s Institute has warned.
The report titled “Making inclusive growth work in Africa” says a number of African countries, among them, …

Scientists biofortify wheat to produce flour with more iron

July 13th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from the John Innes Centre (JIC) have developed a variety of wheat that has high levels of iron. This new biofortified variety could help decrease the number of people with iron deficiency around the world.
Wheat contains iron in parts that are removed before milling. With the use of the …

As solar refrigerator keeps mangoes cold, farmers’ profits heat up

July 13th, 2017 / Thompson Reuters

It is a hot and cloudless morning, a sign that it will be sunny right through the afternoon. Joseph Mailu moves along rows of fruiting mango trees with a long pole in his hand, harvesting the mature fruits.
The succulent green mangoes drop inside a net tied to the tip of …