In the news...

Why we won’t be able to feed the world without GM

February 12th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

With an increasing population, we can increase yields to meet demand without expanding area, and/or we can reduce demand enough to allow supply to catch up. Increasing supply in a sustainable way is perfectly possible. Some of this is about increasing efficiency through better farming, such as using precision …

Nigeria: Why We Developed Drought Resistant Crops – Professor Izge

February 12th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Usman Adamu Izge is a Professor of Agriculture with specialty in genetic and crop breeding at Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State. In this interview, he speaks on why he carried out research on breeding a drought resistant variety of groundnut. Read …

Biofortification: New ‘green revolution’ for more nutritious crops

February 12th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Plant breeders and biotechnologists are working on a new Green Revolution to make crops produce more nutrients, a process called biofortification. Recently, several new biofortified crops have been in the news: an orange ‘super banana’ genetically engineered to produce elevated levels of beta-carotene currently undergoing human testing in Iowa; …

Africa: UN drive to lift up poor farmers must focus on climate

February 11th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

A new push to give farmers in developing countries better access to markets, led by the United Nations’ food aid agency, could fall short of its goals if it does not prioritise helping poor farmers adapt to climate change, experts have warned. Aimed at boosting incomes and improving food …

Livestock diversity crucial to ending global hunger

February 8th, 2016 / Bangkok Post, Thailand

Our livestock is increasingly being raised indoors and fed on concentrate feed that is often imported. Intensive production of chickens, pigs and dairy cows is based on a few breeds worldwide. These developments are risky, as we and future generations are losing the potential to adapt livestock production systems to …

Accelerating change for smallholders with digital technology

February 6th, 2016 / Can we feed the world, UK

The fourth revolution, ‘Industry 4.0’, will build on the digital revolution, but there is work to be done on bringing the digital revolution to developing countries, particularly to rural areas. Digital technology has the potential to accelerate change and reduce isolation, while agricultural development has the potential to support the …

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe declares drought disaster

February 6th, 2016 / BBC, UK

The United Nations World Food Programme has said some 14 million people face hunger in southern Africa because of a drought that has been exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon. South Africa, Namibia and Botswana have also been badly hit. Read …

Four African agricultural start-ups leading the field

February 5th, 2016 / CNN, US

As The World Bank recently reported, food production in sub-Saharan Africa needs to increase by 60 percent over the next 15 years to feed a growing population. But with the challenges to improve production, come new opportunities. Women across the continent are taking matters into their own hands, and kick-starting …

Local scientists creating global impacts in agriculture

February 2nd, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Nina Dudnik writes “In a three-room lab outside Nairobi, Kenya, cutting-edge science is meeting time-honoured farming practices. Steven Runo, a senior lecturer with a specialisation in molecular biology, and his colleagues at Kenyatta University are using the tools of modern molecular biology to overcome constraints of growing maize, sorghum and …

Agriculture doesn’t have to be a poor people’s game

February 2nd, 2016 / How we made it in Africa

For decades, farmers in Africa have been portrayed as illiterate, old and poor. But agribusiness is gradually becoming ‘cool’, championed by wealthy public figures, and tech-savvy youth developing new solutions for the industry. Increasingly, agribusiness is being advocated as a viable career for Africa youth, many of whom grew up …