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Can African smallholders farm themselves out of poverty?

December 12th, 2019 / The Conversation, UK

A great deal of research on agriculture in Africa is organised around the premise that intensification can take smallholder farmers out of poverty. The emphasis in programming often focuses on technologies that increase farm productivity and management practices that go along with them. 

Yet the returns of such technologies are not …

Crops Research Institute Releases stress tolerant maize to address food insecurity in Africa

December 11th, 2019 / Modern Ghana

The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and its international partners have developed a Stress Tolerant Maize variety for farmers in in parts of Africa where climate change threatens food security.

The Stress Tolerant maize variety was introduced to smallholder maize farmers at Ejura …

Ghana: post-harvest losses in cereals: US$141m lost in 2018

December 10th, 2019 / Ghana Web

Ghana loses more than one tenth of its top four cereals produce to post-harvest losses (PHL) every year due to impediments along the entire value chain.

In 2014, the combined losses in rice, maize, millet and sorghum from the point of harvest to their retail/wholesale points at market centres were estimated …

Why China’s swine fever scourge should worry you

December 10th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

The last time we discussed African swine fever (ASF) was 2018. In the article, we highlighted the devastation the disease had done on various farms.

At around the same time, unbeknown to most farmers, their Chinese counterparts had just begun experiencing the same problem. 

It was the first emergence of the disease …

GMOs have a place in African agriculture

December 4th, 2019 / GhanaWeb

The founding director of West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana, has called on African governments to open the doors for the cultivation and use of genetically modified crops to address the food and nutrition insecurity challenges on the continent.

Professor Eric Danquah said the challenges …

Plants and fungi together could slow climate change

December 3rd, 2019 / IIASA

A new global assessment shows that human impacts have greatly reduced plant-fungus symbioses, which play a key role in sequestering carbon in soils. Restoring these ecosystems could be one strategy to slow climate change.

Human-induced transformations of Earth’s ecosystems have strongly affected distribution patterns of plant-fungus symbioses known as mycorrhiza. These …

Turn your anger at science denial into political action

December 3rd, 2019 / New Scientist, UK

Rejection of science is rampant, but scientists can do better at countering doubt and there are grounds for optimism every day, says Naomi Oreskes, author of Why Trust Science?

A historian of science at Harvard University, Naomi Oreskes is best known for exposing the tactics of science deniers. Her first book Merchants …

COP25: ‘Signals of hope’ multiplying in face of global climate crisis, insists UN chief Guterres

December 2nd, 2019 / UN News

“My message here today is one of hope not of despair” said UN chief António Guterres addressing journalists at a press conference in the Spanish capital on Sunday, after revealing the key takeaways from the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Climate report, due to be published during COP25. 

“The last five years have been the …

E. coli bacteria engineered to eat carbon dioxide

November 30th, 2019 / Nature, UK

E. coli is on a diet. Researchers have created a strain of the lab workhorse bacterium — full name Escherichia coli — that grows by consuming carbon dioxide instead of sugars or other organic molecules.

The achievement is a milestone, say scientists, because it drastically alters the inner workings of one of biology’s most …

Endoparasitoid wasp can reduce fall armyworm leaf consumption rate by up to 89%

November 30th, 2019

In a recently published study led by CABI, researchers assessed, under lab conditions, the effect of the endoparasitoid wasp, Coccygidium luteum on the leaf rate consumption of its host – fall armyworm larvae. 

Published in Insects, the paper found that the leaf consumption rate of parasitized fall armyworm larvae gradually declined compared to unparasitized larvae with …