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Oyster mushroom grown in dry conditions with recycled ag waste

June 26th, 2015 / allafrica.com

A North West University Masters student has cultivated oyster mushrooms, typically grown in subtropical regions, in the dry Mahikeng conditions with the leftover residue from crop harvests. The South African university hails Sydwell Sihlangu’s work, supervised by Dr Khosi Ramachela, as a leap forward in the innovative low-cost production of …

Ethiopia: 52 of 100 seed varieties get approval

June 15th, 2015 / Addis Fortune, Ethiopia

The National Seed Approval Committee approved only 52 of the over 100 seed varieties submitted to it by federal and regional research institutions following their research which took as long as 12 years. Thirty-four of the varieties were developed at federally controlled research centres, while the rest were developed by …

Solving insect resistance to environmentally friendly farming

June 14th, 2015 / Bioscience Technology, US

After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.  Read …

Cameroon: In vitro plantain project to produce 5 million plantlets this year

June 8th, 2015 / Cameroon Tribune, Cameroon

Essimi Menye, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has praised researchers of the Institute for Agronomic Research For Development (IRAD) in Ekona for their expediency in carrying out the FCFA one billion in vitro plantain plantlets project initiated in April, 2013. The Minister was speaking at IRAD-EKONA last weekend …

Calestous Juma: GM is an important tool

June 4th, 2015 / BBC, UK

Calestous Juma, who directs the Harvard-based Agricultural Innovation in Africa project, says “In 30 years we’ll have a population of nine billion people to feed and that will increase demand for the quantity and diversity of the food that we need – that’s why we have to consider GM as …

A proposal to modify plants gives GMO debate new life

May 29th, 2015 / New York Times, US

If it’s called a genetically modified organism (GMO), many people will be dead set against it. But what if scientists used the precise techniques of today’s molecular biology to give back to plants genes that had long ago been bred out of them? And what if that process were …

Talk about food security; talk about maize

May 28th, 2015 / CIMMYT.org

Good news from Africa! Policy breakthroughs on transgenic research in Mozambique and Tanzania have led to approval of confined field trials (CFTs) and a more research-friendly regulatory framework, respectively. Mozambique’s CFTs will be at the Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM; Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique) research station …

Maize and Sorghum

May 28th, 2015 / B4FA.org

B4FA provides a snapshot of some of the main plant improvement initiatives taking place in important crops in Africa, and a link to the groups doing this work. Just added, MAIZE and SORGHUM.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global maize production in 2013 …

The last thing Africa needs to be debating is GMOs

May 28th, 2015 / Washington Post, US

Say the words “green revolution,” and people take sides. For opponents, the phrase conjures visions of monocrop fields fertilized with chemicals and sprayed with more chemicals. For proponents, it evokes the tremendous efficiencies that have helped us feed our burgeoning population. For Joe DeVries, a plant scientist, “it’s a …

Soil – the forgotten resource, Infographic

May 25th, 2015 / FAO, Italy

Soils host a quarter of our planet’s biodiversity. Soil is one of nature’s most complex ecosystems: it contains a myriad of organisms that interact and contribute to the global cycles that make all life possible Read …