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Diversify sweet potato to entice youth to agriculture

July 3rd, 2018 / BizCommunity

Scientists should conduct more research to create sweet potato varieties that can withstand floods and help turn the crop into other products to attract the youth to agriculture, a meeting has heard. The meeting assembled over 100 research scientists and agricultural economists from sub-Saharan Africa to review progress on sweet …

Overlooked link in food security

July 3rd, 2018 / Business Daily

The Government of Kenya, within its big four agenda, has given prominence to food and nutritional security as one of its main development pillars. Rightly so, since a well-fed nation is crucial for productivity and contribution to the country’s economic growth. However, this pillar is often misconstrued to solely refer …

Agricultural product to control aflatoxin in crops launched

July 2nd, 2018 / Modern Ghana

Aflasafe GH02, a new agricultural bio control product to help manage aflatoxin contamination in crops and poultry was launched in Accra to ensure food security and food safety in Africa including Ghana.
Aflasafe GH02, developed by International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and its partners, contains native non-toxic strains of Aspergillus …

Ethiopia progresses with GMO crops

July 2nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

In an effort to improve agricultural productivity and safety, Ethiopia has approved the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) cotton and field research on GM maize.
The two crops have been genetically engineered to include genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a common soil bacterium that is widely used to control insect …

Agricultural advances draw opposition that blunts innovation

June 29th, 2018 / Science, US

Scientists are using technology to expand global food production and ease its environmental impact, but advances are being challenged by claims that lack scientific evidence and raise public distrust and concern, a leading agricultural scientist told an American Association for the Advancement of Science audience.
Alison Van Eenennaam traced the advent …

Weeds are winning the war against herbicide resistance

June 28th, 2018 / Scientific American

Herbicides are under evolutionary threat. Can modern agriculture find a new way to fight back?
For farmers, protecting fields from pests and plagues is a constant battle fought on multiple fronts. Many insects have a taste for the same plants humans do, and pathogenic microbes infect leaves, shoots and roots. Then …

EAC beefs up efforts against invasive weed – parthenium hysterophorus

June 28th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

EAST African countries remain in danger of a devastating weed; parthenium hysterophorus that has already inflicted costs to farmers as experts strain themselves to contain it.
The ECHO East Africa Impact Center in collaboration with other partners and community is working out ways of containing the killer plant that is fast …

Popular rice variety gets extra gene power to fight bacterial attacks

June 27th, 2018 / The Hindu, India

Researchers at the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Rice Research have developed a new variety of the popular Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) rice that can resist bacterial blight disease.
Bacterial blight disease, which affects rice crop, is caused by bacteria, Xanthomonas oryzae, and drastically reduces rice productivity.
The high yielding ISM variety is …

WACCI urges government to scale-up agricultural research investment

June 27th, 2018 / GhanaWeb

Professor Eric Danquah, Founding Director, West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, has urged the government to scale-up agricultural research investment; to increase productivity and to ensure food security for the people.
More should also be done to transform WACCI into a world class agriculture innovations and entrepreneurship …

Searching for biotech solutions to problems plaguing livestock in Africa

June 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
In Africa, scientific research involving biotechnology innovations in agriculture has largely focused on finding ways to produce better crops. But, increasingly, researchers in animal sciences are exploring the potential of these new technologies in breeding and disease resistance.
Those efforts are bolstered by the institutions such as …