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The USDA says Crispr-edited foods are just as safe as ones bred the old-fashioned way

April 4th, 2018 / Quartz

Last week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would no longer regulate crops that have been genetically edited.
Gene editing, which includes Crispr techniques, enables researchers and now farmers, to genetically nip and tuck the DNA of living things and sell them to consumers. This could mean …

Agricultural diversification as an important strategy for achieving food security in Africa

April 3rd, 2018 / Global Change Biology

Farmers in Africa have long adapted to climatic and other risks by diversifying their farming activities. Using a multi‐scale approach we explore the relationship between farming diversity and food security and the diversification potential of African agriculture and its limits on the household and continental scale. On the household scale …

Empowering youth to engage in the agricultural sector is key …

April 2nd, 2018 / African Brains

Youth vital players in responsible investment in agriculture and food systems
Action is needed to enhance agricultural investments by and with young agri-entrepreneurs. Empowering youth to engage in the agricultural sector is key to create livelihood opportunities, achieve food security and stimulate economic growth in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) …

Africa’s future rests on her scientists and innovators – Paul Kagame

March 30th, 2018 / ITedge News, Nigeria

Building knowledge economies of citizens highly competent in science and mathematics is the key to African countries achieving the high income status necessary to climb out of poverty and take their place in global network of innovators, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has told an audience of global stakeholders in …

Agrilinks releases food safety hazard factsheets

March 29th, 2018 / AgriLinks

The factsheets provide a snapshot of several key foodborne disease (FBD) causing agents (chemical and biological) commonly found in developing countries. They provide a description of the agent, major food sources, impact on human health and how to manage toxicity. These are a useful tool for those looking for a …

Myths and misleading claims about fertilizers and pesticides lead to GMO fear mongering

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Why did activists trash experimental crops of genetically modified (GM) maize and oilseed rape in the 1990s in the UK? Why were their activities closely followed by a pliant media?
Not having been closely involved with plant breeding, my first reaction was to wonder what I had missed that led the …

The future of organic farming and gene editing

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

It’s become popular in recent years for some to call for a shift away from conventional farming and wholly into organic. But is this even feasible? Not when you compare the yields of both farming methods. Organic yields are usually 20-30 percent below conventional yields, with the sometimes exception of …

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast

March 28th, 2018 / University of Exeter, UK

Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world’s rice crop each year.
An international team led by the University of Exeter showed that chemical genetic inhibition of a single protein in the fungus stops it spreading inside …

Support for cassava development for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

March 28th, 2018 / Cornell CALS

Cassava is vital to the food security of millions of Africans who eat some form of the root crop daily. Although cassava breeders are making progress, they still face significant challenges in developing disease-resistant varieties that also increase overall yield and respond to the needs of smallholder farmers and processors. …

Next Einstein Forum launches Scientific African Journal to boost global reach of research from Africa

March 27th, 2018 / Africa Business Communities

A partnership between the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), and Elsevier, the information analytics business specializing in science and health, will see the creation of a new pan-African, peer reviewed, open access publishing journal, dedicated to boosting the global reach and …