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Stronger food businesses, better food security

September 19th, 2016 / TechnoServe, US

Not long ago, HOME Oil, a small cooking oil manufacturer in southern Malawi, was in trouble. Without the necessary food safety certifications, the company’s products were unable to break into local markets. To keep the business afloat, its owner was covering operating expenses out of his own pocket.
The struggles of …

The next green movement: plant biology for the environment and sustainability

September 19th, 2016 / Science, US

From domestication and breeding to the genetic engineering of crops, plants provide food, fuel, fibers, and feedstocks for our civilization. New research and discoveries aim to reduce the inputs needed to grow crops and to develop plants for environmental and sustainability applications. Faced with population growth and changing climate, the …

Agricultural R&D is on the move

September 16th, 2016 / Nature, UK

The geographical distribution of food and agricultural research and development (AgR&D) is changing. Our analysis of more than 50 years of data indicates that the governments of middle-income nations are investing more than those of high-income ones for the first time in modern history. The numbers also suggest that, globally, …

Smarter farming could cut hunger in drought-hit southern Africa

September 16th, 2016 / Thompson-Reuters

Southern African farmers facing hunger as a result of worsening drought know a lot about climate change but lack the resources to put solutions that work into place, agriculture and development researchers say.
That is in part because government agricultural extension services, which offer training and advice to farmers, have too …

African livestock breeds in trouble of extinction

September 16th, 2016 / African Farming, UK

FoodTank have released a scathing report on the state of many of Africa’s cattle breeds. The not-for-profit has recently released a list of 35 species which are about to become extinct. In addition to this, according to the U.N Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), close to 17 per cent of …

Maize genetics may show how crops adapt to climate change

September 16th, 2016 / phys.org

With the onset of climate change and changes in irrigation, adapting food crops to grow in diverse environments could help feed the world. Now University of California, Davis, scientists are leading a major new project, funded by the National Science Foundation with $4.1 million over five years, to study genetic …

Application of science and technology to combat climate change in Africa

September 14th, 2016 / Ghana Web

There is no doubt that changes in the earth’s climate always occurs, however as a result of human induced activities over the years, the change is happening at a fast pace. This change is at the moment changing faster than it has happened for thousand years, according to a 2013 …

Kenya: Nod on GM cotton field trials shifts focus to release of biotech maize

September 14th, 2016 / Daily Nation, Kenya

A decision by the National Bio-Safety Authority (NBA), to approve open field trials for genetically modified (GM) cotton is bound to raise more confusion in an area that has been dogged by controversy.
There has been a push and pull regarding release of biotech maize for National Performance Trials even after …

Top scientists debate biotechnology

September 14th, 2016 / New Vision, Uganda

Scientists from different fields discussed the application of biotechnology in Uganda. Dr. Arthur Tuguma, a lecturer of genetics and plant pathology in the department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology at Makerere University, said there is need to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the technology.
On his part, Dr Elioda …

Organic farming will not feed growing African population

September 14th, 2016 / ENCA, South Africa

Soil experts gathered in Nairobi for the ongoing African Green Revolution Forum have on Thursday, said that Africa has no choice but to use quality fertilisers to improve the soil quality to produce enough food.
The experts said that Africa cannot rely on organic farming to feed the rapidly growing population …