In the news...

Cassava in south-east Asia under threat from witches’ broom disease

April 18th, 2016 / The Guardian, UK

Climate change and globalisation are fuelling an explosion in the pests and diseases that afflict south-east Asia’s cassava crops, threatening a multi-billion dollar industry and the staple food of millions of people, a report warns. Cassava, which is originally from South America, is now south-east Asia’s third largest source of …

SARI to release three hybrid maize varieties

April 18th, 2016 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: The Savanna Agriculture Research Institute, SARI, will soon release new hybrid maize seed varieties for the 2016 Farming season, which can withstand the climatic conditions in the northern regions. According to a Plant breeder at the SARI, Dr. Meshack Seidu Abdulai, the varieties will provide …

Climate change, agriculture and biotechnology Part 1

April 18th, 2016 / Nigeria Today

Every year, nations come together to work out solutions to mitigating/adapting to the devastating effects of our changing climate. The issues of renewables are now at their loudest, no thanks to the devastating effects of climate change. Most obvious manifestation would be the change in weather conditions; many countries are …

Genes used to extend banana lifespan

April 18th, 2016 / Reuters.com

Dr. Haya Friedman, a researcher at Israel’s Volcani Institute, also known as the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), told Reuters that the genetically-altered bananas can stay fresh for at least double the time of normal bananas. “You can see here that these are bananas that we changed the expression of the …

Biotechnology can play big role in Great Green Wall Initiative

April 18th, 2016 / elkurebedotcom

Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed has assured that Nigeria was ready to deploy biotechnology to boost the economy of the country. She said this while answering questions by Journalists shortly the members of the Programme Committee of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa paid her courtesy visit …

Zambia first country to create a smart farming training centre

April 18th, 2016 / SABC, South Africa

Zambia has become the first country in the world to create a smart farming training centre. The AGCO-Zambia Agriculture Training Centre launched this week will fast-track the country’s agricultural sector into the 21st century- as it moves away from its dependence on copper. Farmers will be taught how to use …

New project to help African farmers address multiple stresses In maize farming

April 13th, 2016 / Modern Ghana

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and its partners have unveiled a new project – Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) – to diminish devastating environmental effects in maize production that occur simultaneously across many regions in sub-Saharan Africa. The new project will develop new improved varieties and …

Scientist discovers drought tolerance-enhancing fungi in yam

April 6th, 2016 / This Day, Nigeria

A soil scientist, Nkiruka Odoh, has discovered the use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF), a natural-occurring soil organism to enhance drought tolerance of yams in the face of climate change. Read …

FAO, ministers, experts brainstorm on African agri-food systems

April 6th, 2016 / elkurebedotcom

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe reports:As Fifty-four African ministers of Agriculture and various stakeholders are gathered in Abidjan, capital of Cote de I’Voire, for the 29th Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO’s) Regional Conference for Africa to take stock of the progress made so far in the area of improving the continent’s …

GM crops can thrive as climate warms

April 6th, 2016 / Eco-Business, Singapore

Genetically engineering photosynthesis in plants could take advantage of rising global temperatures and increased levels of carbon dioxide, US scientists say. They believe this could achieve much higher yields on the same amount of land and help to stave off the prospect of widespread hunger as human populations increase. …