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Let’s recognize Roundup Ready and Bt crops as major contributions to sustainable farming

May 2nd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

This is the first in a three-part series making the case that the development of biotech traits for insect resistance and herbicide tolerance are the most substantial innovations in sustainable agriculture in the last three decades. Here, I lay out the context in which I believe they should be assessed …

Agripreneurship deserves as much buzz as supposedly sexier, urban-based sectors

April 12th, 2018 / Huffpost, South Africa

South Africa or Africa at large should seek to be the place that gives us the Steve Jobs of agriculture, to tackle major challenges the continent faces in terms of economic growth, food security and the present threat of climate change. This is particularly important in the sensitive debate over …

Empowering youth to engage in the agricultural sector is key …

April 2nd, 2018 / African Brains

Youth vital players in responsible investment in agriculture and food systems
Action is needed to enhance agricultural investments by and with young agri-entrepreneurs. Empowering youth to engage in the agricultural sector is key to create livelihood opportunities, achieve food security and stimulate economic growth in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) …

South Africa: farming sector must absorb more black agriculture graduates

March 8th, 2018 / Huffington Post, South Africa

A recent study by Mlungisi Mama that was reported in Farmers Weekly suggests that there are few agricultural blacks graduating with agricultural-related degrees. Mama observed that “at the University of Stellenbosch, the number of black students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture is on average only slightly more than …

A tiny beetle and its deadly fungus is threatening South Africa’s trees

March 2nd, 2018 / The Conversation

Sandton is Johannesburg’s economic hub – home to numerous companies’ headquarters and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. And now it has a new, unwelcome resident: a tiny beetle that could lay waste to several tree species found in the suburb and potentially the wider Johannesburg area. This is particularly concerning, as …

How to put the youth back in agriculture

March 1st, 2018 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Misconceptions about working in agriculture have long bogged down the number of young people opting for a career in this industry. Africa’s young population is often discouraged by the image of punishing work and poor, weather-beaten farmers, so attracting youth to agriculture is no small feat. However, new technologies, methods …

Opinion: Africa should follow in South Africa’s ‘food steps’ and embrace genetic modification

January 25th, 2018 / Huffington Post, South Africa

While there was also an outbreak of the fall armyworm in South Africa, farmers experienced minimal crop damage as genetically modified crops proved far more resistant.
More than 80 percent of South Africa’s maize production is now genetically modified, which is why the country managed to harvest its biggest crop in …

Challenge of food waste is put centre stage at Oxford Farming Conference

January 3rd, 2018 / Farming Life, UK

In Africa, which contributes approximately 18% of global postharvest food losses, they suggest the research base is too low across the continent, with the majority of research stemming from South Africa. Professor Terry argues that UK research funds should be used to address this imbalance. “The global threat to food …

South African farmer offers ‘living testimony’ to safety of biotech

December 11th, 2017 / Alliance for Science, US

“At first I was resistant due to some of the negative stories about biotechnology that are out there, like hearing that some people develop cancer and stuff,” she said.
After being persuaded to plant biotech seeds on one hectare of land, that resistance quickly faded away.
“Guess what? I saw …

Wheat leaf disease, a potential threat

November 14th, 2017 / Farmers' Weekly, South Africa

Outbreaks of a previously unknown wheat leaf disease have been reported in South Africa, which could have a serious impact on food security and sustainable wheat production in the country.
The disease involved severe discolouration of wheat leaves and, according to Dr Tarekegn Terefe, senior researcher at ARC-Small Grain in Bethlehem, …