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Seed companies urged to educate farmers

January 21st, 2019 / The Chronicle, Zimbabwe

SEED companies and donors should educate farmers on seed varieties to ensure they grow the right crop suitable for their respective farming regions, an expert has said.

In an interview, Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FFU) president Mr Wonder Chabikwa said the majority of farmers were not formally trained at agriculture training …

Speed up seed policies harmonisation

January 21st, 2019 / SciDev.net

Delayed harmonisation of policies for encouraging the transfer of seeds across East and Southern Africa is hampering trade and increased agricultural growth, experts say.

The goal to harmonise seed trade resulted from having different policies across countries, thus impeding transfer technology to promote agriculture in the region. Harmonised seed policies ensure that countries with similar agricultural production …

Kalro releases disease resistant seed varieties

January 7th, 2019 / Business Daily Africa

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) has released eight maize varieties resistant to maize lethal necrosis disease.

Regional research officer John Karanja said the eight varieties have been developed for different climatic conditions.

“Besides their resistance to this disease, they are also hardy and can withstand inadequate rainfall regimes as well …

UN backs seed sovereignty in landmark peasants’ rights declaration

January 4th, 2019 / Foodtank

On December 17, the United Nations General Assembly took a quiet but historic vote, approving the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas, by a vote of 121-8 with 52 abstentions. The declaration, which was the product of some 17 years of diplomatic work led by …

Hybrid rice engineered with CRISPR can clone its seeds

December 17th, 2018 / Science News

After more than 20 years of theorizing about it, scientists have tweaked a hybrid variety of rice so that some of the plants produce cloned seeds. No plant sex necessary. The feat, described December 12 in Nature, is encouraging for efforts to feed an increasingly crowded world.
Crossing two good varieties …

Sustainable hybrid seed sector key to Africa’s Green Revolution

December 10th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Africa’s demand for food will more than double by 2050, driven by population growth and rapid urbanisation.
A growing population is not the only challenge. Africa has to contend with new enemies such as climate change and the traditional ones such as pests, poor infrastructure and post-harvest losses.
Some years back, increased …

Shock as government bans GMO trials

November 27th, 2018 / The Citizen, Tanzania

B4FA Fellow B4FA Fellow Rosemary Mirondo reports:
Tanzania orders the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute to stop all Genetic Modified Organism (GMO) confined trials and destroy all test remnants.
An air of resignation characterised reactions yesterday to the government’s surprise ban on all genetically modified organism (GMO) trials in the country.
Members of the …

DIY crop speed breeding to boost drought research

November 22nd, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) Senior Research Fellow Dr. Lee Hickey said that plant speed breeding could be part of the solution to minimize the devastating effects of drought and climate change on crops in the future. He added that the technique can enable researchers and plant …

Edible GM cotton could supply protein to 600 million people daily

November 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

It turns out cotton seed is a great source of protein, except it’s currently toxic for humans. Cotton naturally produces gossypol, which is essentially an insecticide. While that helps the plant fight off insects, it also makes it poisonous to humans and most animals. But scientists at Texas A&M University …

Large NMBU project on seed security

November 7th, 2018 / Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Farmers’ access to seeds is the focus of a new project ‘Access to seeds: From emergencies to seed system development’, led by Ola Westengen and funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN).
Seeds are vital for food security and are a fundamental asset for the majority of rural communities in …