In the news...

On the offensive against fall armyworm in Africa

June 22nd, 2018 / CIMMYT

The fall armyworm could cause maize yield losses projected at $2.5 to $6.2 billion a year. Experts estimate that Africa will need an investment of at least $150 to $200 million annually for research and pest management to mitigate related damage.
The voracious fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has marched across Africa …

Inside the genetically modified cassava research In Uganda

June 21st, 2018 / Business Focus, Uganda

On May 24, 2018, a few journalists and I visited National Crop Resources Research Institute in Namulonge, located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Kampala City.
The trip was to assess progress in research that entails developing Genetically Modified (GM) cassava that is resistant to Cassava Brown Streak Disease and Casssava …

Inter- and transdisciplinary research on yam systems for improved food security in West Africa

June 20th, 2018 / Open Access Government

Professor Emmanuel Frossard from ETH Zurich and his collaborators from Switzerland and West Africa experiment in the YAMSYS project, a novel approach for improved soil and crop management in yam systems.
Whereas food insecurity has decreased in West Africa, it remains a major problem. Many projects aiming at improving agricultural productivity …

Gene editing, GMOs, and fear-based marketing

June 20th, 2018 / ITIF

After decades of special interest groups raising unwarranted fears and misrepresenting every aspect of so-called “GMOs”, opponents of innovation in plant and animal breeding are adding a new under-the-bed-monster to the mythical menagerie. This one is called “gene editing” aka “GE,” and it seems the topic is everywhere these …

This startup wants to save the banana by editing its genes

June 19th, 2018 / Fast Company

In a lab at a U.K. research park, researchers from a startup called Tropic Biosciences are using CRISPR to create a better banana. The startup, which is also using gene editing to improve coffee, believes that technology could help save the fruit. Today, the company announced that it raised $10 …

How much longer do we have to wait?

June 19th, 2018 / Manilla Bulletin, Philippines

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) continues to be a major public health concern worldwide. It is estimated that 250,000–300,000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, with half of them dying within a year after getting blind.
Here at home, not only are we not making progress, the problem is getting worse. …

Repositioning cassava sector will save Africa $1.2b

June 18th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

If the Cassava sector is properly repositioned, it is capable of saving the African continent about $1.2b, which can be redirected into the continent’s domestic economies.
Director for Agriculture, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Martin Fregene, disclosed this at the just concluded fourth International conference on cassava, organised by the Global …

AfDB plans $120 million to boost cassava production

June 15th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has disclosed plans to invest $120 million within the next three years to boost productivity and transform cassava and eight other commodities in Africa.
The nine commodities include: cassava, rice, maize, sorghum/millet, wheat, livestock, aquaculture, high iron beans and orange fleshed sweet potatoes.
The Director for Agriculture …

Agriculture, nutrition and fortification, supplementation and biofortification

June 15th, 2018 / Agriculture & Food Security

The worlds growing population and limited land resources require high intensity of food production. Human nutrition needs both macronutrients and micronutrients. One way of providing micronutrients in staple crops of the poor is biofortification, through plant breeding. All methods of plant breeding are acceptable and safe, and some methods can …

New programme to boost soil productivity and reduce soil degradation in Africa

June 15th, 2018 / ReliefWeb

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its Global Soil Partnership launched today a new programme to boost soil productivity and reduce soil degradation for greater food and nutrition security in Africa.
The Afrisoils programme aims to increase soil productivity in 47 African countries by 30 percent, and reduce …