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Africa needs heroes – with ideas and vision

June 24th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

For most people, the notion of a hero conjures up images of brave individuals risking their lives for others, or “superheroes” from comic books or films, armed with supernatural powers. But what Africa needs, each and every day, are heroes of a different sort – “action heroes” with ideas and …

Climate-proofing agriculture must take centre stage in African policy

June 20th, 2016 / IPS, Italy

After over a year of extreme weather changes across the world, causing destruction to homes and lives, 2015-16 El Niño has now come to an end. This recent El Niño – probably the strongest on record along with the along with those in 1997-1998 and 1982-83– has yet again shown …

Finding the best seeds to match Africa’s needs

June 18th, 2016 / ACES, US

“An important component to establishing a foundation for soybean in Africa is having a third-party trial program. It’s vital to have independent confirmation about varieties, yield, adaptation to a particular area, yield performance in area A versus B, and disease resistance,” says Peter Goldsmith, University of Illinois economist and principal …

Kenya is on the brink of approving GMOs

June 17th, 2016 / Grist, US

Just four years after banning imports of genetically-modified crops, Kenyan officials have come full circle: They’ve moved a big step closer to introducing genetically modified crops into Kenyan fields. Earlier this year, the country’s National Biosafety Association approved Monsanto’s genetically-modified, drought-resistant corn for field trials that will test whether it …

The next ‘green revolution’ should focus on hunger – not profit

June 15th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

There are urgent appeals for a second green revolution to make food more sustainable, involving climate-adapted crops (some genetically-modified), healthier soil and reduced chemical inputs. Sadly, however, incentives on offer for agri-tech firms may mean our hopes of achieving such a revolution are under grave threat. Read …

Started small, Ssenyondo is now big time

June 15th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Frank Ssenyondo is one of the young entrepreneurs in Mpugwe, Kiwanyizi village in Masaka District. The 30-year-old is a farmer and owns Kategula model farm that occupies a four-acre piece of land.
When he finished school, like any fresh graduate, Ssenyondo went out on a search for jobs. “As many were …

Is there a future for GMO-free soybeans?

April 29th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project

During the last 15 years, world-transgenic (GMO) soy production has reached 80 million hectares. It is almost 80 percent of total acreage worldwide as of 2014: 100percent in Argentina, 94 percent in the United States; and 93 percent in Brazil. These developments make it extremely difficult to find GMO-free …

Youth multiplying drought-resistant seed

April 27th, 2016 / The Ethiopian Herald

Youth farmers involved in multiplying drought and rust resistant new wheat seed variety are benefitting. Minaleh Agegnew, in his late 20s, is a resident of Kurmi Georgis Kebele of rural Gojam. He is landless. Together with his friends he rent a farmland at a cost of 3,000 Birr and …

Challenges in the seed sector can be addressed through seed licensing agreement mechanism

April 26th, 2016 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: the Chief of Party for the Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support project Dr. Walter Nunez Rodriguez has revealed that the challenges in the seed sector can only be address through a licensing agreement mechanism, which protect the breeder and the private sector in …

Sub-Saharan Africa feeding itself after years of improving crop varieties

April 23rd, 2016 / Virginia Tech News, US

In regions of Africa, agricultural productivity is increasing and people are thriving. Overall, the prevalence of hunger declined by 30 percent between the early 1990s and 2015, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Investments in agricultural research are helping to alleviate crippling food shortages that racked the continent in …