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Alliance to tackle African food security challenges

December 1st, 2015 / Business Weekly, UK

The John Innes Centre in Norwich and Nairobi’s Biosciences east and central Africa (BecA) research hub have announced advances in their collaboration which aims to find scientific solutions to African food security challenges. The BecA-John Innes Centre (JIC) alliance works on collaborative research projects and, in doing so, builds …

Seeds without borders – using and sharing plant genetic diversity

November 27th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

11 African countries gathered last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to implement seed sharing and use for climate change adaptation, food security and poverty alleviation. No single country has all the genetic resources it needs to adapt to global challenges of climate change, food security and poverty alleviation – …

Are young people the answer to Africa’s food security?

November 25th, 2015 / Inter Press Service, Italy

Are you young, energetic, creative, ambitious and need a job? Africa’s agriculture sector needs you! This is a potential sales pitch to Africa’s “youth dividend” to make a living from agriculture, considered a less attractive sector for a career but the mainstay of a number of economies on the …

Orphan gene could boost protein content of rice, corn and soya

November 25th, 2015 / Iowa State University, US

A recently published study from two Iowa State University scientists shows that a gene found only in a single plant species can increase protein content when introduced into staple crops. The research has implications for a wide array of crops, especially for staples grown in the developing world, where …

SARI complete second stage trials for GM cotton varieties

November 24th, 2015 / YouTube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash files a video report: The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) has completed it second stage confined field trials a Roundup Ready Herbicides Genetically Modified Cotton variety which seeks to monitor the effects of glyphosate formulations when applied on weed and the cotton plant as means …

We need a voluntary international agreement to protect soil

November 24th, 2015 / Nature, UK

The history now being written in the world’s soils is not so rosy. Every year, 75 billion tonnes of crop soil are lost worldwide to erosion by wind and water, and through agriculture; this costs about US$400 billion a year3. Only a few countries have national legislation protecting soil, …

Aflatoxins poisoning health and trade in sub-Saharan Africa

November 23rd, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Aflatoxin contamination is a growing threat to trade, food and health security in sub-Saharan Africa, where smallholder farmers are challenged by food production and now climate change. Aflatoxins are toxic and cancer causing poisons produced by certain green mould fungus that naturally occurs in the soil. The poisons have …

Advancing nutrition and sustainable development

November 23rd, 2015 / International Food Policy Research Institute, US

AKINWUMI ADESINA PRESIDENT, AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK says “The world needs nutrition accountability. Food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition affecting millions of the poor and chil- dren are simply unacceptable. The most important infrastructure is “gray matter infrastructure.” Yet millions of children in Africa grow up without adequate nutrition and become …

Squash pots and bad bananas

November 19th, 2015 / Huffington Post Green, US

A promising biotech solution (developed by Ugandan scientists for Ugandan farmers) involves the transfer of 2 genes from green peppers into the banana plant to give it resistance to wilt. It has had tremendous success in field trials but is running into opposition from anti-GMO activists who, not unlike Honeycutt, …

Enhancing the biotechnology of crops with microbials

November 19th, 2015 / Country Guide, Canada

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: When the word “biotech” first leapt onto the agri-food scene, there were plenty of proponents and opponents for the science of implanting different genes into corns, soybean and canola genetics. The first Bt hybrids offered yield advantages, and the early days of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans saw …