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Digital transformation in agri-business required to safeguard African food supply

March 27th, 2017 / TWeb, South Africa

African food security is under threat from a confluence of climate change, severe drought, water scarcity and a destructive fall armyworm invasion. But, says Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director, SAP South Africa, there are technology tools at hand to help solve Africa’s food security problems.
“Smart Farming solutions will become the cornerstone …

Efficiency of public spending will enhance agriculture productivity for poverty reduction in Africa

March 26th, 2017 / The Financial

Reforms in public spending would boost agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, raising farmer’s incomes, and promoting broader economic growth, says a new World Bank report released on March 23.
Reaping Richer Returns: Public Spending Priorities for African Agriculture Productivity Growth explores the performance of agricultural spending in Africa, and presents a …

Africa’s food security challenges driving technological innovation

March 21st, 2017 / BIZCommunity, South Africa

Climate change, severe drought, water scarcity and the invasion of Fall armyworm sees Africa’s food security under threat, but technology tools are available to help solve the continent’s food security problems. Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director, SAP South Africa says: “Smart farming solutions will become the cornerstone of global food production …

Drought tolerant wheat on the way

March 21st, 2017 / Agriculture.com

Look for a grinning, midsize lab-coat guy this winter, wearing dark glasses possibly, at the CFIA Variety Registration Office in Ottawa or Toronto. Julian Northey plans to be there, toting his paperwork, to register a new durum wheat for trials in western Canada.
If it happens and if it holds up …

CRISPR, microbes and more are joining the war against crop killers

March 17th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Resistance to conventional pesticides — among insects, weeds or microbial pathogens — is common on farms worldwide. CropLife International, an industry association based in Brussels, supports efforts that have counted 586 arthropod species, 235 fungi and 252 weeds with resistance to at least one synthetic pesticide (see ‘The rise of …

Raising crop productivity in Africa through intensification

March 14th, 2017 / Agronomy, Switzerland

The population of Africa will double in the next 33 years to reach 2.5 billion by 2050. Although roughly 60% of the continent’s population is engaged in agriculture, the produce from this sector cannot feed its citizens. Hence, in 2013 alone, Africa imported 56.5 million tons of wheat, maize, and …

Environmentalists urged to embrace biotechnology to improve food security

March 14th, 2017 / B4FA Fellow, Hope Mafaranga

B4FA Fellow, Hope Mafaranga reports: The Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Kare Chawicha, called on environmentalists to embrace biotechnology as one way of mitigating climate change. His comments came when he opened a communication training workshop on biotechnology and biosafety for media practitioners from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, …

Plowing a new path for female farmers in South Africa

March 13th, 2017 / Women & Girls, US

As the first South African to win the prestigious Nuffield Agricultural Scholarship, Thato Moagi is shattering the stereotypes of what it means to be a young black woman and a female African farmer. Women & Girls spoke to Moagi about her career, her expectations from the Nuffield Scholarship, and her …

Small molecule could have big future in food security

March 13th, 2017 / University of Arizona, US

Researchers at the University of Arizona have found a promising way to prevent the loss of millions of tons of crops to a fungus each year, offering the potential to dramatically improve food security, especially in developing countries. The team’s approach uses transgenic corn plants that produce small RNA molecules …

Germany’s top organic researcher says environmentalists should embrace CRISPR editing

March 10th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

New techniques are currently revolutionizing genetic research. They allow extremely precise changes to the genome…. This so-called genetic surgery changes the debate about the risks and chances of interventions in the genome.
In this Q&A, Urs Niggli, director of the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture in Germany, discusses a new form …