In the news...

Next generation Golden Rice could be driven by CRISPR gene editing

September 1st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rice breeders today develop improved varieties from genetic breeding stock that has been advanced through thousands of generations and over many decades with conventional crossbreeding techniques, said Vibha Srivastava, professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences for the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas. Read …

Unraveling the paradox: Why GMO drugs and GMO foods are treated differently by critics

September 1st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Should GMO drugs be perceived differently than transgenic food? Some anti-GMO activists say, ‘no,’ that anything derived from genetic modification should be rejected.
It’s abundantly clear that there is widespread support of transgenic healthcare therapies but far less so for genetic engineering in agriculture. As I’ve noted previously, public perception is …

Growing coffee as economic patriotism

August 29th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) is a new magazine that made its first street appearance only this August. Your columnist’s first impression of BUBU is that it is out to persuade Ugandans to engage in practical patriotism by prioritising Ugandan goods and enterprises that promote national economic development.
It has …

Delay in using GM crops making Africa lose benefits

August 29th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

The delay in approving the use of genetically modified (GM) crops is contributing to malnutrition and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, a study says.
Many African governments are grappling with opponents and proponents of GM crops, thus facilitating a delay in adoption, especially when uncertainty about GM crops are announced shortly before …

Enhancing commercial cassava production

August 29th, 2017 / The Nation, Nigeria

Over 70 per cent of small-holder farmers are engaged in cassava production. A non-governmental organisation, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), is striving to ensure that commercial cassava farming is enhanced with mechanisation.
One of the goals of the project is to reduce rural poverty by using cassava value-chain to generate …

Seeds, not diamonds, will make Africa great

August 29th, 2017 / News Day, Zimbabwe

According to the US Geological Survey 2016, Sub- Saharan Africa produces 77% of the world’s platinum metals; 60% of its cobalt (used for batteries and metal alloys); 46% of its natural industrial diamonds; and an abundance of gold, uranium, oil and gas. Tragically, this immense mineral richness has not benefited …

Africa should harmonise agro-policies

August 24th, 2017 / Daily Mail, Zambia

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says African countries need to develop harmonised regional agricultural policies that promote investment in key resilient infrastructure to boost regional trade in agro-products.
The policies should also aim to mitigate climatic challenges.
COMESA climate change advisor Mclay Kanyangarara said strengthened regional integration measures …

African women want greater land ownership rights

August 23rd, 2017 / News24.com

Influential women from across Africa converged for a conference in Pretoria last week, as they called for greater land ownership rights.
The conference, hosted by the Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign in association with the Urban CSO Cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) of UN-Habitat, focused on …

What sub-Sahara can learn from India’s ‘Green revolution’: the good and the ba

August 23rd, 2017 / The Conversation

Sub-Saharan Africa has huge potential to become a global food basket, but it is far from being realised. The region is estimated to have 60% of the globally available and unexploited arable land yet it remains food deficient.
Even when arable land is cultivated, hurdles such as limited irrigation, small sized …

Can crop biotechnology boost food security in Nigeria?

August 21st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Since his assumption of office in May 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has repeated said that the nation’s economy must be diversified to, especially Agriculture which “must cease from being treated as development programme but be treated as business. Our goal will be to pursue government supported private sector agriculture value …