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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 …

GMOs are not agriculture’s future – biotech Is

September 7th, 2018 / Scientific American

… agriculture needs to adapt. The only question is how can we move forward in a way that does not repeat the mistakes of the GMO (genetically modified organism) era? The answer lies in newer technologies that allow us to responsibly develop crops that never integrate non-native elements into a …

Tanzania eyes new tech to fight aflatoxins

September 5th, 2018 / AllAfrica

Tanzania will soon join other African countries in rolling out new technology that will contain cancer-causing aflatoxins.
Known as Aflasafe TZ, the technology can reduce the poisonous chemical’s contamination in food by 80 to 90 per cent.
Reduction of food and animal feed contamination by the poisonous aflatoxins will make the human …

Breakthrough to combat devastating grape disease

September 4th, 2018 / Technology Networks

A new discovery by Washington State University scientists could help grape growers roll back a devastating virus that withers vines and shrivels harvests.
Named for how it curls the leaves of infected plants, grapevine leafroll disease costs growers millions of dollars in lost vines and productivity. Until now, no one has …

Insect threats to food security

September 3rd, 2018 / Science, US

Globally, one out of nine people suffers from chronic hunger, and undernourishment is growing. Global average surface temperatures are also rising and are projected to increase by 2° to 5°C this century, with negative impacts on agricultural production. Even today, despite substantial plant protection efforts, about one-third of crops are …

Seeking medicine from the plants of Uganda

August 28th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Researchers have long looked to the plants of our world to solve many of the medical problems we face. But new technologies are rapidly opening new opportunities for those scientists.
And while much of those efforts are taking place in the US, Europe and China, that doesn’t …