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China to train African scientists as part of $60-billion development plan

October 4th, 2018 / Nature, UK

China wants to train Africa’s next generation of scientists. Its lofty goal is to improve African science in fields from agriculture and climate change to quantum physics and artificial intelligence.
The training is one element of a much larger plan adopted by Chinese and African leaders at the third Summit of …

SARI applies science in addressing post food losses

October 4th, 2018 / Daily Guide, Ghana

Scientists from the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have introduced and exposed close to 300 farmers to two improved varieties of cowpea in the Binduri and Bawku West Districts of the Upper East Region.
The beneficiary farmers are those who farm along …

Pioneering biologists create a new crop through genome editing

October 3rd, 2018 / Phys.org

Crops such as wheat and maize have undergone a breeding process lasting thousands of years, in the course of which mankind has gradually modified the properties of wild plants into highly cultivated variants. One motive was higher yields. A side effect of this breeding has been a reduction in genetic …

IRRI opens regional office in Africa

October 3rd, 2018 / World-Grain.com

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) opened a new regional office in Nairobi to help Africa boost rice productivity and self-sufficiency.
The office was inaugurated by Professor Hamadi Boga, Principal Secretary, Kenyan State Department of Agriculture Research, who was represented by Margaret Makelo; Jim Godfrey, chairman of the board of trustees and …

Ministry of Agriculture developing new technology to offer quality potato seeds

September 27th, 2018 / FarmBiz Africa

The (Kenyan) Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Hygrotech, a private company is developing a new technology which will enable farmers get high quality potato seeds, doing away with reliance on tubers seeds.
According to the ministry’s press release on the current national food security situation October last year, production of …

Hybrid maize resists lethal necrosis

September 26th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The disease can destroy entire harvests and is thus a severe food security risk.
A centralised maize lethal necrosis disease screening facility established in Naivasha five years ago has released 15 disease-resistant hybrid maize varieties in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
After screening more than 150,000 maize germplasms, the team validated genomic regions …

Achieving sustainable food security in South Africa

September 25th, 2018 / BizCommunity.com

On September 18, I attended a session on Famine to Food Security as part of the Future of Farming Dialogue 2018, hosted by Bayer at their crop science headquarters in Germany – a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and agriculture.
While food security is …

GMO controversy is a political debate, not a food safety issue, farmers say

September 25th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

According to a recent article in the New York Times, most consumers don’t know or realize that for decades they have been consuming foods that have been developed through bioengineering including crossbreeding, irradiating, and chemically inducing gene mutations to achieve desired characteristics. Read …

UCC develops high yielding drought and disease resilient cowpea varieties

September 24th, 2018 / Ghana News Agency

A team of researchers from the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Cape Coast (UCC) has developed eight different varieties of cowpea as part of its “Cowpea Project”.
The varieties, which are more drought and disease resilient and high yielding are expected to be released to seed production companies …

Gene-edited cassava could help millions of farmers

September 24th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Based on the breathless coverage of CRISPR genome editing technology thus far—the famed patent dispute, the overhyped promises of designer babies, the fears of urban biohackers gone mad—you’d be forgiven for thinking that CRISPR is a first-world solution for first-world problems. Indeed, the first CRISPR product to make it out …