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Will Africa embrace CRISPR gene editing and the next phase of the biotech revolution?

July 12th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Scientists around the world are increasingly turning to the promise of CRISPR gene editing to tackle any number of problems facing humanity.
These efforts may have started in the US, Europe and Asia, but they have since spread to African nations. South African scientists are exploring the …

Delay In Approving GMOs In Ghana is the highest form of injustice to the ordinary Ghanaian farmer

July 9th, 2018 / Modern Ghana

As renowned scientist Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If I am asked to describe Ghana’s agricultural industry, I guess this famous quote could be my best description. Ghana has prided itself over the years with agriculture being …

Diversify sweet potato to entice youth to agriculture

July 3rd, 2018 / BizCommunity

Scientists should conduct more research to create sweet potato varieties that can withstand floods and help turn the crop into other products to attract the youth to agriculture, a meeting has heard. The meeting assembled over 100 research scientists and agricultural economists from sub-Saharan Africa to review progress on sweet …

African farmers demand increased access to mechanised agriculture

July 3rd, 2018 / Joy Online

Fascinated by the advanced technology on farms in America, African farmers are demanding increased access to mechanized means of farming as the sure way to ensure food security and help lift the continent out of poverty.
In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 70 percent of agricultural production is subsistence farming …

Preserve the sweet potato

July 2nd, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael J. Ssali writes
Sweet potatoes are the most important food crop in Uganda after banana and cassava. According to the last agricultural census report of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) we produce 1.8 million metric tonnes of sweet potatoes a year grown on an estimated 440,000 …

Transforming Africa’s agriculture through greenhouse farming

July 2nd, 2018 / Modern Ghana

The call in August 2017, by participants at the end of a ‘Strategy, Planning and Project Implementation Workshop’, for the promotion of greenhouse farming technology in Ghana was a step in the right direction.
This came after the participants had been exposed to the greenhouse farming technology during a visit to …

How sorghum’s drought-resistant genes could benefit other crops

July 2nd, 2018 / Agri-Pulse

University of California researchers are on the path to discovering genes that assist in drought resistance in sorghum, which could potentially be applied to other important cereal crops like corn, wheat, rice and barley in the years to come.
“We’re going to need crops that have better drought tolerance in the …

Who is afraid of GMOs? Fear peddlers

June 28th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Margaret Karembu, Director of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) AfriCenter and Chair of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) – Kenya Chapter, writes:
The genetically modified organism (GMO) debate remains engulfed in a maelstrom of controversies. Sadly, what is largely a First-World debate continues to increasingly …

‘Super crops’ could revolutionise agriculture in Africa, expert claims

June 27th, 2018 / Independent, UK

Super crops have the potential to revolutionise agriculture in Africa, a leading expert has claimed.
Hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested in new crops on the continent which are more nutritious and better resistant to disease with an improved ability to withstand severe flooding or drought.
From “scuba” rice which …

Rise of farmers’ organizations in Africa; shaping policies for agriculture

June 25th, 2018 / DevDiscourse

The past two decades have witnessed the unprecedented development of farmers’ and rural producers’ organizations throughout Africa. Farmers’ organizations are enjoying growing recognition as the representatives of the farming community at the national, regional and international levels.

Today, there are tens of thousands of grass-roots farmers’ organizations across Africa. Most play …