In the news...

Study shows bees on the farm may be more valuable than pesticides

October 10th, 2019

For European rapeseed farmers, honey bees buzzing around fields may outweigh the benefits of using pesticides to fight insect damage, French researchers said.

A four-year survey in France found higher yields and profits for rapeseed fields where there’s an abundance of pollinating insects, according to a study by agricultural researcher INRA and the …

South African youth doesn’t like farming because it’s not sexy. True or false?

October 9th, 2019

Some agribusinesses and agriculturalists argue that vocational training institutions are not efficiently producing skills needed for agriculture today, and that might be part of the reason why some young people are not finding work in this sector.

It has become fashionable in conferences to say “let’s make agriculture sexy in order …

The key to food security in Africa lies in the treasure trove of global crop biodiversity

October 7th, 2019

Global plant diversity could be a lifeline for food security in sub-Saharan Africa, finds a new study. 

The analysis reveals that replacing some at-risk African food crops with more resilient crops from other parts of the world, as well as tapping the huge genetic diversity of crop wild relatives, could help shore up …

New perennial legume destined for poor soils

October 1st, 2019

A new perennial legume with the potential to revolutionise grazing in sandy infertile pastoral areas will be available to Australian and South African farmers next year. Read more … …

New research paves way to make more crops resilient to floods

September 26th, 2019 / Live Mint

With the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events causing severe damage to crops worldwide, a new study has paved way to enhance flood tolerance of more crops species through genetic engineering.

In a new research published in peer-reviewed journal, Science, scientists studied how other crops behaved when submerged …

The human health benefits from GM crops

September 26th, 2019 / Plant Biotechnology Journal

The Human Health Benefits from GM CropsGenetically modified (GM) crops represent the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture, having now reached twenty-five years of commercial production. Grown by millions of farmers, many in developing countries, the technology is providing significant economic and environmental benefits, such as reductions …

CRISPR might be the banana’s only hope against a deadly fungus

September 25th, 2019 / Nature, UK

The race to engineer the next-generation banana is on. The Colombian government confirmed last month that a banana-killing fungus has invaded the Americas — the source of much of the world’s banana supply. The invasion has given new urgency to efforts to create fruit that can withstand the scourge.

Scientists are …

India and China top hot spots of antimicrobial resistance in animals

September 25th, 2019 / SciDev.net

Asian giants China and India must take immediate steps to preserve antibiotics essential for human medicine by restricting their use in the livestock industry, recommends an author of a new study on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The study, published on 20 September in Science assessed the development of drug-resistant pathogens in developing countries. It found hot spots of …

The next agricultural revolution is here

September 24th, 2019 / Science News

As a growing population and climate change threaten food security, researchers around the world are working to overcome the challenges that threaten the dietary needs of humans and livestock. A pair of scientists is now making the case that the knowledge and tools exist to facilitate the next agricultural revolution …

Uganda: GMO regulation will hinder food security

September 23rd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

One of the major farming debates in the local media recently has been the second rejection of the GE Regulation Bill by President Museveni. He raised a number of issues in the document including requiring lawmakers to review the use of poisonous and dangerous viruses and bacteria, …