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Microsoft to collaborate with AGRA to create technology solutions in agriculture through its 4Afrika Initiative

September 13th, 2019 / Farmers Review Africa

Microsoft is looking to collaborate with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to co-create technology solutions in agriculture through its 4Afrika Initiative. The collaboration will support AGRA’s digital transformation as it works to improve food security for 30m farming households across 11 countries, including Ghana, by 2021.

This …

Sequenced pea genome aids effort to improve global nutrition, boost sustainable farming

September 13th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

An international team of researchers has assembled the first genome of the field pea, providing insight into how Mendel’s original genetic model evolved and help future improvements of the crop. The study, published in Nature Genetics, has important implications for global nutrition and sustainability of crops. Pea is the second most important grain …

Danforth Center tapped to improve sorghum as a bioenergy crop

September 12th, 2019 / USAgnet.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) has launched a major initiative to develop bioenergy crops through genomics-based research. Danforth Center Principal Investigator, Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., will lead a multi-institutional project under this initiative to deepen the understanding of sorghum, a versatile …

A breeding revolution could unleash the potential of potato

September 4th, 2019 / Science Magazine, US

Unlike other major crops, however, the potato has not had a breeding breakthrough of the kind that helped dramatically boost yields during the Green Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. The reason is that creating a new potato variety is slow and difficult, even by the patient standards of plant …

China farmers warned to avoid illegal African swine fever vaccines

September 4th, 2019 / South China Morning Post

China’s agriculture ministry is warning farmers against using illegal experimental vaccines in the country’s ongoing battle with African swine fever.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said it had ordered local governments to step up checks and crack down on illegal vaccines.

The move was in …

The protection of traditional knowledge in Africa

September 3rd, 2019 / Inventa International

Traditional Knowledge (TK) is, in accordance to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “a living body of knowledge passed on from generation to generation within a community”. Traditional Knowledge is the know-how, skills and practices developed within a community, forming part of its cultural identity, which is passed through generations.

Despite the …

Patents on plants: Is the sellout of genes a threat to farmers and global food security?

September 3rd, 2019 / DW.com

There’s an ongoing global trend of companies claiming property rights for plants or genetic material of plants  across the globe.

“Resources that used to be available to mankind as a community have now been confined to privatization,” Judith Düesberg from NGO gene ethical network told DW.

The United States first introduced the idea …

GM cassava research progresses in Uganda

September 2nd, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

As Ugandan researchers progress in breeding genetically modified (GM)  disease-resistant cassava, they are requesting permission to create permanent demonstration gardens of the improved crops. The goal is to ensure continuous documentation of the ongoing cassava research and also provide a place where people can see GM plants. However, the request …

Is hybrid rice solution to Africa’s food shortage?

August 30th, 2019 / The Standard, Kenya

Every African government today is talking about food and nutrition security and employment for its people especially youth and women.Yet, Africa is still producing too little food for its bourgeoning population to eat. Is the continent really doing everything needed to achieve its aspirations and visions in the agriculture sector?As …

New biosensor provides insight into the stress behavior of plants

August 30th, 2019 / Science Daily

Researchers have developed a method with which they can further investigate an important messenger substance in plants — phosphatidic acid. Using a new biosensor, they are able to track the activity of phosphatidic acid spatially and temporally for the first time and thus, investigate plants that are exposed to stress …