In the news...

China funding agriculture research lab in Kenya

September 30th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

The Chinese government is funding a laboratory at a Kenyan university that will train students and conduct agricultural research. The lab will come up in Egerton University which has its main campus in Njoro in south-western Kenya. A crop molecular laboratory is under construction in the campus, in collaboration …

Sustainability science needs South-South collaboration

September 30th, 2015 / SciDev.net, Uk

Poor countries produce only 2 per cent of publications in sustainability science. Collaborations are dominated by rich countries with few South-South links. To improve, poor nations need more stable policies and better communicated science See …

Nigerian researchers release two new maize hybrids

September 22nd, 2015 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Jimoh Babatunde reports: Two new hybrids of maize that will help improve productivity and income of farmers in Nigeria have been released at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IART), Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan. The new maize hybrids – Ife Maizehyb-07 and Ife Maizehyb-08 were …

Closing Africa’s research gap

September 21st, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

A large gap remains in research capacity between Africa and the rest of the world in all scientific disciplines. Addressing the challenges, especially, in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector remains a a major hurdle. In Africa itself, research is mostly dominated by five nations: Egypt, …

Resistance to GM comes from people who have not known hunger

September 21st, 2015 / El País, Spain

“Scientists must engage more with the public. The problem with GM food is that the public is not aware that for centuries have been doing genetic modification, albeit very random way: crossing different strains or, for many years, with mutagenesis [generating mutations] crops and subsequent selection of the most …

Portable biosensor making food and fodder safe

September 10th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

The presence of aflatoxins in food and feed are a major reason why some of our agricultural produce would be rejected in international markets. In addition, they are harmful to both human and animal health. They can cause diseases like cancer and nervous and reproductive disorders, retard growth in children, …

School children to learn about soil

September 8th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Kenyan children are among those set to benefit from a new set of materials that explain the importance of soil in crop production. This is as nations target children in the role they play as future food producers. With 50 per cent of the global population being youth of less …

Ants are as effectives as pesticides

September 2nd, 2015 / Aarhus Science and Technology, Denmark

A new scientific review from Aarhus University shows that when farmers use ants as pest controllers, it is just as effective as using chemicals. In addition, the method is sustainable – and far cheaper. See …

How scientists evaluate potential health problems of GMOs

August 29th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

One major public concern about GMOs is their affect on human health. Are there differences in nutritional content, allergic response, or undesired side effects such as toxicity, organ damage, or gene transfer? To address these concerns, over 100 research studies have compared effects of traditional food to GM food. Major …

GM technology isn’t good or evil – it’s what we do with it that counts

August 29th, 2015 / The Guardian, Uk

Just mentioning genetic modification (GM) creates division. The anti-GM lobby sees red mist, the pro-GM lobby seemingly wants to roll out the red carpet and others see GM as a red herring, a distraction from other (more easily acceptable) solutions to our huge food challenges. See …