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Africa Soil Information Service

October 25th, 2018 / CGIAR

The Africa Soil Information Service provides continent-wide digital soil maps and decision-support applications for sub-Saharan Africa, using new types of soil analysis and statistical methods.
The online portal africasoils.net provides practical, timely and cost-effective soil health surveillance services that can help map soil conditions, set a baseline for monitoring changes, develop …

Ministry of Science releases 19 high yield crop varieties, 1 chicken breed

October 24th, 2018 / Vanguard, Nigeria

A total of 19 new high yield crop varieties have been released by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to enhance Nigerian agriculture. The National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) approved the release at its 26th meeting held at its secretariat, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), …

Garlic, chillies among natural fall armyworm measures

October 24th, 2018 / SciDev.net

“Biological pesticides are safer to humans and the environment than synthetic chemicals.”
Roger Day, CABI
Garlic, oranges, chillies and sex pheromones are among the potentially viable natural control measures that could be used against fall armyworm, according to a study.
Researchers have identified a number of pesticides derived from natural materials such as …

Genetic engineering solutions for medical and agricultural challenges

October 23rd, 2018 / Blue and Green Tomorrow

GE technology has had a very positive impact on our world. The change has been most significant in the agricultural industry, but the medical industry has been affected to. Fortunately, it has had a positive impact on the environment, which should make our lives much better in the long-term. Read …

Researchers take genomic sequencing to the farm to help transform lives

October 23rd, 2018 / Phys.org

In a world first, international scientists including a University of Otago researcher, have used whole genome sequencing to help diagnose a plant pathogen destroying crops on African farms, potentially paving the way for preventing crop failures, vital to the African economy.
Dr. Jo-Ann Stanton, a Senior Research Fellow in the University …

Quality seed, key in achieving agricultural productivity

October 19th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Kenya’s ambition to become a newly industrialized middle-income country is enshrined in the government’s national long-term development policy, Vision 2030.
The delivery of this target is driven by a series of medium-term plans. But most importantly, the ‘Big Four Agenda’, which seeks to attain positive agricultural transformation by increasing maize …

Renewable energy and food security trends in Africa

October 19th, 2018 / BizNis Africa

The case for investing in renewables to promote food security
Renewable energy, especially solar power, can make a significant contribution to improving people’s general quality of life; their access to water, technology and information; education; food preparation options; and employment.
Opportunities for investment in these technologies are abundant and promising. Investing in …

Genetic markers identify the sex of yams and accelerate breeding

October 19th, 2018 / CGIAR: Roots, Tubers and Bananas

Researchers have identified the genetic markers that distinguish the sex of yam plants, saving time and resources for future breeding efforts.
White Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is native to West Africa, where it has been a food security crop for centuries. As Africa is rapidly urbanizing, yams are now being grown …

How the science of biofortification grew from an idea to a food revolution

October 18th, 2018 / CGIAR

A major global success in nutrition in recent decades started with a simple idea from young CGIAR researchers back in the 1990s: What if we could breed vitamins and minerals into the staple crops that people consume daily?
The idea was biofortification, and the lead researcher was Dr. Howarth Bouis – …

Great expectations from Ethiopia’s wheat initiative

October 18th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Ethiopia provides a clear example of agricultural underperformance, as the country’s wheat production has consistently lagged other African nations. In 2012, Ethiopia’s wheat yields were 29 percent below neighboring Kenya, 13 percent below the African average, and 32 percent below the global average.
To help address these shortcomings, Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation …