In the news...

GMO controversy is a political debate, not a food safety issue, farmers say

September 25th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

According to a recent article in the New York Times, most consumers don’t know or realize that for decades they have been consuming foods that have been developed through bioengineering including crossbreeding, irradiating, and chemically inducing gene mutations to achieve desired characteristics. Read …

UCC develops high yielding drought and disease resilient cowpea varieties

September 24th, 2018 / Ghana News Agency

A team of researchers from the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Cape Coast (UCC) has developed eight different varieties of cowpea as part of its “Cowpea Project”.
The varieties, which are more drought and disease resilient and high yielding are expected to be released to seed production companies …

Gene-edited cassava could help millions of farmers

September 24th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Based on the breathless coverage of CRISPR genome editing technology thus far—the famed patent dispute, the overhyped promises of designer babies, the fears of urban biohackers gone mad—you’d be forgiven for thinking that CRISPR is a first-world solution for first-world problems. Indeed, the first CRISPR product to make it out …

Making African agriculture more attractive for investors

September 24th, 2018 / African Business

While global population growth slows, Africa’s population is set to double over the next three decades, reaching around 2.2bn people by 2050.
This surge in numbers will have significant ramifications for the continent’s food security, which is already under pressure mainly due to climate change. The good news is that Africa’s …

An overview of agriculture, nutrition and fortification, supplementation and biofortification

September 24th, 2018 / Agriculture & Food Security

Alan Dubock writes:
The worlds growing population and limited land resources require high intensity of food production. Human nutrition needs both macronutrients and micronutrients. One way of providing micronutrients in staple crops of the poor is biofortification, through plant breeding. All methods of plant breeding are acceptable and safe, and …

As the battle against climate change intensifies, farmers find relief in agricultural innovations

September 20th, 2018 / Medium.com

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) just released its 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report. Two alarming facts immediately stand out.
First, for the third straight year — and after a long period of decline — the number of undernourished people in the world has …

New technologies key to reforming Africa’s agriculture sector

September 17th, 2018 / Africa Times

Can drones save sub-Saharan Africa from starvation?
That’s the question being asked by scientists, engineers, climatologists and politicians as climate change radically alters weather patterns and temperatures on the African continent, posing new challenges to a sector that is being asked to feed a rapidly growing population while simultaneously adapting to …

Invest in typical agricultural institutions – Prof Nhamo

September 10th, 2018 / The Observer, Uganda

Uganda needs to open up more agricultural universities and tailor the studies in line with the country’s needs if the sector is to continue being the backbone for the economy, a South African professor has said.
Prof Godwell Nhamo, the chief researcher and lecturer at the University of South Africa (UNISA), …

World Bank pours hundreds of millions into African science

September 10th, 2018 / Nature, UK

A World Bank scheme aimed at building grassroots research capacity in Africa will nearly double its budget with a third, and probably final, investment worth at least US$280 million. The initiative, which loans money to African governments, has set up 46 education and research centres in 17 African countries, created …

UN calls emergency meeting over African swine fever as China confirms ninth case

September 7th, 2018 / Daily Telegraph, UK

The United Nations has called an emergency meeting of animal disease experts amid fears African swine fever (ASF) is set to sweep through Asia and devastate pig farming.
China on Wednesday confirmed its ninth case of the highly infectious disease since it was first spotted in the country a month ago …