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Kenya launch drought-tolerant crop varieties to boost food security

April 28th, 2017 / Coastweek.com

Kenya’s ministry of agriculture on Tuesday launched several drought resistant and high yielding crop varieties to be deployed in 21 arid and semi arid counties where hunger and malnutrition is rampant.
Principal Secretary for Livestock, Andrew Tuimur said the drought tolerant crops including beans, green grams, cassava and grain amaranth will …

South Africa: SUNfarming technology spells good news for food security

April 27th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has commended a farming project, which harnesses the power of the sun to grow vegetables.
The Minister visited the SUNfarming project, situated at the North West University in Potchefstroom, on Tuesday.
The solar powered vegetable growing project was born from a partnership between SUNfarming and …

Talking Biotech: What’s blocking GMO crop adoption in Africa?

April 26th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Outside of South Africa, Kenya was the first place in sub-Saharan Africa to do research and development of genetically engineered crops. This week’s Talking Biotech guest, professor Matthew Harsh from Concordia University in Montreal, lived in Kenya for a year while conducting sociological and ethnographic research. He interviewed scientists, policymakers, …

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 …

Malawi progresses GM crop trials

April 26th, 2017 / Alliance for Science, US

Bolstered by a solid and functional biosafety framework, Malawi is one of the few countries in Africa poised to move forward in commercializing genetically modified crops, with cotton, cowpea and banana now in field trials.
The Biosafety Act was passed in 2002, biosafety regulations in 2007 and the National Biotechnology and …

Preserve indigenous crops

April 26th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Mr Kgotla Autlwetse has called on farmers to retrace their steps and start planting indigenous field crops alongside open pollinated and hybrid ones.
He raised a concern that indigenous field crops seemed to be disappearing and they needed to be preserved for …

Combating aflatoxins to curb Africa’s post-harvest losses

April 21st, 2017 / InDepth News

Forty percent of the food produced in Africa is lost, largely due to poor product handling, storage and processing practices, with aflatoxins often responsible for much of this loss in the post-harvest phase.
Aflatoxins are poisonous and cancer-causing chemical produced by certain moulds (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) which grow in …

Traditional breeding alters maize composition more than stacking transgenic events

April 20th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Dow AgroSciences LLC researchers, led by Rod A. Herman, evaluated the impact of crossing (stacking) genetically modified (GM) events on maize grain biochemical composition and compared it with the impact caused by generating non-GM hybrids.
The compositional similarity of seven GM stacks containing event DAS-Ø15Ø7-1 was compared to their corresponding non-GM …

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 …

Warming of 2°C in Africa could reduce ag production by 20 per cent

April 19th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza, US

The Center for Global Development’s 2011 report, “Quantifying Vulnerability to Climate Change Implications for Adaptation Assistance,” forecasts median agricultural productivity losses due to climate change ranging from 18% in North Africa to 19.8% in Central Africa through 2050.
The weak output in Africa, reinforced by a spike in temperatures and exacerbated …