In the news...

Scientists examine threats to food security – even if we meet the Paris climate targets

April 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

We have delayed action for so long on handling climate change, we now can no longer can “will it happen?” Rather we have to ask “how bad will it be?” and “what can be done about it?” As our society thinks about what we should do to reduce our carbon …

GMO maize could halt devastating fall army worm invasion in Uganda—if it gets approved

April 4th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Mary Yangi trekked a long journey from South Sudan to Uganda’s West Nile region to settle as a refugee and, a few months later, into farming. Unlike others, who were reliant upon food rations from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the 59-year-old widow saw …

Agricultural diversification as an important strategy for achieving food security in Africa

April 3rd, 2018 / Global Change Biology

Farmers in Africa have long adapted to climatic and other risks by diversifying their farming activities. Using a multi‐scale approach we explore the relationship between farming diversity and food security and the diversification potential of African agriculture and its limits on the household and continental scale. On the household scale …

Empowering youth to engage in the agricultural sector is key …

April 2nd, 2018 / African Brains

Youth vital players in responsible investment in agriculture and food systems
Action is needed to enhance agricultural investments by and with young agri-entrepreneurs. Empowering youth to engage in the agricultural sector is key to create livelihood opportunities, achieve food security and stimulate economic growth in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) …

Africa’s future rests on her scientists and innovators – Paul Kagame

March 30th, 2018 / ITedge News, Nigeria

Building knowledge economies of citizens highly competent in science and mathematics is the key to African countries achieving the high income status necessary to climb out of poverty and take their place in global network of innovators, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has told an audience of global stakeholders in …

Unleash the power of young Africans: Supporting the farmers of tomorrow

March 29th, 2018 / Compact 2025

The number of young people between ages 15 and 24 is growing rapidly. The youth bulge is particularly pronounced in Africa and south Asia, where the youth population is expected to double in the next 30 years. As of 2012, 10 million young people in sub-Saharan Africa were entering the …

Agrilinks releases food safety hazard factsheets

March 29th, 2018 / AgriLinks

The factsheets provide a snapshot of several key foodborne disease (FBD) causing agents (chemical and biological) commonly found in developing countries. They provide a description of the agent, major food sources, impact on human health and how to manage toxicity. These are a useful tool for those looking for a …

Myths and misleading claims about fertilizers and pesticides lead to GMO fear mongering

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Why did activists trash experimental crops of genetically modified (GM) maize and oilseed rape in the 1990s in the UK? Why were their activities closely followed by a pliant media?
Not having been closely involved with plant breeding, my first reaction was to wonder what I had missed that led the …

The future of organic farming and gene editing

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

It’s become popular in recent years for some to call for a shift away from conventional farming and wholly into organic. But is this even feasible? Not when you compare the yields of both farming methods. Organic yields are usually 20-30 percent below conventional yields, with the sometimes exception of …

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast

March 28th, 2018 / University of Exeter, UK

Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world’s rice crop each year.
An international team led by the University of Exeter showed that chemical genetic inhibition of a single protein in the fungus stops it spreading inside …