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At Last, ‘Plan B’ for Africa

July 31st, 2017 / SciTech Connect

A practical, appropriate and effective solution to Africa’s food and nutritional insecurity has eluded everyone for over 100 years. Since colonial days, conventional thinking has been based on the misconception that what works in temperate latitudes must work in the tropics and sub-tropics. This thinking fails to understand the very …

Scientists expand anti-striga seed to East Africa

July 21st, 2017 / News Ghana

African scientists said they have expanded innovative anti-striga seed that has led to the reclamation of 20,000 hectares of arable land in Kenya to other East African countries.
Denis Kyetere, Executive Director of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), said the expansion aims to improve the productivity of maize in the region …

Modified maize that kills with RNA is given go-ahead in the US

June 30th, 2017 / New Scientist, UK

For the first time, a crop that produces an RNAi-based pesticide has got the green light.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved a genetically modified corn known as SmartStax Pro. In addition to producing two Bt toxins to kill any western corn rootworm larvae that try to eat it, the …

New alliance seeks to fast track crop improvement in Africa

June 29th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

An international alliance was formed to speed up crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa, which was launched at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK on June 16, 2017.
The Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvements in Africa (ACACIA) aims to support African scientists in their efforts to find ways to address food security …

Improved seeds, the answer to Africa’s food security needs

June 27th, 2017 / News Ghana

For Africa to become self-sufficient in food production, what it needs are improved seeds, rather than huge machinery, Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture in Ghana declared here on Wednesday.
In his address at the 10th Anniversary of the West African Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI) the minister said …

Agric experts laud ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy

June 16th, 2017 / Graphic Online, Ghana

Agriculture experts from West Africa attending a conference on the West Africa Seed Programme (WASP) have lauded the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs agriculture policy, describing it as revolutionary enough to boost productivity in the sector.
They have, however, observed that quality seeds would be crucial to the success of …

How to practice climate smart farming with ease

June 16th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farming and environment The continued unpredictable weather pattern is largely due to environmental degradation that impacts negatively on farming. But whereas farmers are directly affected by the effects they have not been mindful of conserving the environment.
“You cry of drought, lack of water but what efforts are you putting up …

Africa: how to produce more food with less damage to soil, water, forests

June 13th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Massive agriculture intensification is contributing to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and the level of greenhouse gas emission, the United Nations warns.
To achieve sustainable development we must transform current agriculture and food systems, including by supporting smallholders and family farmers, reducing pesticide and chemical use, and improving land conservation …

AfDB explores investment strategies to tilt markets in favour of African farmers

June 13th, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has proposed new investment strategies in Africa’s agriculture sector, which, if properly implemented, would effectively alter the market structures around the world in favour of the African farmers of major cash crops like tea, coffee, and cocoa.
AfDB Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, …

Scientists discover plant ‘brain’ controlling seed development

June 9th, 2017 / Phys.org

A new study by scientists at the University of Birmingham has revealed a group of cells that function as a ‘brain’ for plant embryos, capable of assessing environmental conditions and dictating when seeds will germinate.
A plant’s decision about when to germinate is one of the most important it will make …