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Researchers work on drought-tolerant maize for Africa

October 4th, 2017 / VOA News

In Zimbabwe, researchers say they are breeding maize that is drought and heat resistant as part of efforts to fight hunger across Africa, where maize is a staple food.
In Hezekaya Village in Gokwe, about 200 kilometers west of Harare, cotton is what most people plant because it can grow in …

Farmers asked to adopt agriculture technologies

October 2nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Agricultural productivity in Africa continues to remain far below the potential of the continent although Africa has experienced tremendous progress in the last decade therefore adoption of modern technologies still lags.
The successes of agricultural research has yet to fully translate into appreciable rapid agricultural growth …

Africa called on to embrace plant genetic varieties to boost food security

October 2nd, 2017 / Xinhua, China

African economies should take the lead in embracing crop genetic varieties in a bid to enhance food security and sustainable agriculture, experts said.
They made the call during the African Union regional forum on the Implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in Kigali, …

Tanzania, UN ink $2 million pacts to fight armyworms

September 30th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has entered into two agreements worth $2million with the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries to boost surveillance of Fall Armyworm (FAW) across the country.
A fall armyworm outbreak has been causing considerable crop damage in some countries including in Tanzania. The pest …

New app diagnoses crop diseases in the field and alerts rural farmers

September 30th, 2017 / CGIAR

The team behind a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose crop diseases in the field has won a $US100,000 award to help expand their project to help millions of small-scale farmers across Africa.
Cassava brown streak disease is spreading westward across the African continent, and together with …

Millet genome sequenced by scientists from 10 countries

September 27th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

An international consortium of researchers from France, India, and China has published the genome sequence of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), a cereal that belongs to the family of small-seeded grasses, grown in arid areas in the Sahel region in Africa and in Asia, especially in India.
Coordinated by the Institut de …

Initiative to build African science journalism capacity

September 27th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A two-year programme has been launched to build capacity of science journalists and improve science coverage in Africa.
It was launched this month (1 September) with the aim of recognising the important role of science journalism in promoting Africa’s socioeconomic development.
The project is being funded by the African Academy of Sciences …

Kenya approves field trials for disease-resistant GMO bananas

September 26th, 2017 / Genetic literacy Project, US

The National Biosafety Authority has approved field tests for genetically modified bananas, moving the country closer to accepting growing and consumption of GMO foods.
The authority…says the approval for controlled field tests was granted on November 7 last year, paving the way for the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation to …

Chips, chocolate and coffee – our food crops face mass extinction too

September 26th, 2017 / Guardian, UK

A “sixth mass extinction” is already under way, scientists are now warning us. Species such as the Bengal tiger and blue whale are vanishing at an alarming rate, and mournful eulogies are being written on how those born in 20 years’ time may never see an African elephant. But who …

The regulatory status of gene-edited agricultural products in the EU and beyond

September 25th, 2017 / Emerging Topics in Life Sciences

Governments all over the world are struggling with the regulatory status of gene-edited organisms. Are they regulated? Should they be regulated? In the present paper, the main focus is on the regulatory status of gene-edited organisms within the European regulatory framework. A stepwise analysis is performed that comes to the …