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Teff love – Ethiopia’s staple crop requires a big push

August 23rd, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Can an Ethiopian farmer benefit from the global export of this gluten-free supergrain without jeopardizing domestic consumption?
Not too long ago, teff, a gluten-free, nutrient-rich, 3,000-year-old grain native to Ethiopia, made international headlines when the world woke up to the potential of this poppy-sized wonder, instantly terming it as the next …

Europe’s decision to reject gene edited crops signals it is losing its commitment to sustainable agriculture

August 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

At the same time as Swedish agriculture is affected by the worst drought in recent memory, the European Court of Justice has made a decisive decision that will have far-reaching consequences for Swedish agriculture beyond this hot summer. [On July 25th], it was decided that crops in which targeted mutations …

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth

August 21st, 2018 / UN News

For the African continent to achieve sustainable development, more jobs must be created for its young people, including in the digitalized agriculture sectors, says the United Nations agriculture chief.
“We need to take action to make agriculture more attractive to young people,” underscored José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food …

Wheat gene map to help ‘feed the world’

August 17th, 2018 / BBC

The starting pistol has been fired in a race to develop “climate change resistant” wheat with the publication of a map of the crop’s genes.
An international team of scientists has identified the location of more than 100,000 wheat genes.
The researchers say the map will accelerate the development of new strains …

Trait-based regulation of GM plants is on the horizon – at last!

August 16th, 2018 / Agri-Pulse

Evan Pugh Professor Emerita and Penn State University Senior Science Advisor Nina Fedoroff writes:
We are now able to modify plants with exquisite precision to make use of the enormous fund of molecular and physiological knowledge about them accumulated over the past century. Taking apart the regulatory thicket will make …

Why Tanzania youth need to be at the forefront of agricultural initiatives

August 15th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Though during the school holidays I assisted on the farm, in a rural area, I did not have a connection to agriculture when I arrived in Tanzania’s largest commercial city Dar es Salaam and headed off for “The Hill” to study law. This all changed in my early 30s when, …

African universities urged to focus on farming technology

August 15th, 2018 / Business Day, South Africa

The African Development Bank has urged academic institutions to adapt their curriculum to enable technology-driven farming, saying there is no reason why Africa should be spending $35bn a year importing food.
According to the bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, the rapid pace of growth in the use of drones, automated tractors, artificial …

Farming, science and population

August 14th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes:
Among the biggest public debates today is producing sufficient food for a global population of 10 billion by 2050. By that time, according to some estimates, Uganda’s population will be 50 million.
One is reminded of the situation when Jesus’ disciples noticed that their master had …

Eleven case studies exemplify strategies to scale up climate-smart agriculture

August 13th, 2018 / ReliefWeb

Many agricultural technologies and practices, including those qualifying as climate-smart, are not achieving their full potential impact because of low levels of adoption by farmers in developing countries. Despite successful pilot projects, uptake of new and innovative agricultural technologies and practices has often been poor, and we have still not …

Which vision of farming is better for the planet?

August 13th, 2018 / The Salt

Farmers face a growing dilemma. Specifically, a food-growing dilemma.
How do you feed an increasing number of people without harming the environment?
As it turns out, growing as much food as possible in a small area may be our best bet for sustainably feeding the world’s population, according to new research.
It all …