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Embrace new technologies to increase agricultural production, Africa urged

March 23rd, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

Africa should embrace technology and innovations to boost agro-production and, hence save the billions of dollars the continent spends on food imports, the Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources has said.
Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana said use of advanced technology helps increase crop yields across the continent, a development that would help …

The fuss about biotechnology: Why?

March 19th, 2018 / The Nigerian Voice

Science, technological innovation and a fundamental understanding of nature are among the major drivers of progress. Today’s advances in the treatment of human disease have been made possible by the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and the DNA double-helix structure by Watson and Crick in 1953. These …

Disease-resistant GMO crops can reduce pesticide use

March 19th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Recently, University of Florida plant geneticists Zhonglin Mou and Kevin Folta, along with their team of graduate students, announced a new method to fight common diseases in fruit plants. Their discovery could drastically reduce the use of fungicides if widely implemented by growers!
Unfortunately, their methods may never be put to …

Is nature “natural” anymore?

March 16th, 2018 / Mapping Ignorance, Spain

It seems that we are definitely heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “more natural” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. Remarkably, this bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, …

Bt Corn associated with higher yields, less insecticide use in neighboring fields

March 16th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In 1996, scientists introduced a type of transgenic maize with built-in protection against pests, such as the European corn borer, using genes derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that code for proteins toxic to some insects but harmless to humans. Since then, a host of studies have quantified the benefits—in …

Specialty training institutes can help African youth become the future of agriculture

March 14th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

For the agricultural revolution to happen, investment in the practical skills set of youth in the field of agriculture through dedicated training at specialized technical institutes is a must.
Agricultural training institutes can provide practical knowledge and help youth put their creativity, love for technology and innovation to use. Evidence from …

Distant cousins of domesticated crops harbor traits to feed a hungry planet

March 13th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Recently, scientists found that more frequent flooding caused by storm and rainfall along with erratic temperature are responsible for the resurgence of phytophthora blight, a devastating disease that weakens pigeonpea stems irrespective of soil types and cropping patterns. With climate change, new invasive pests and changes in the farming landscape, …

China to deepen agricultural cooperation with Africa

March 13th, 2018 / People's Daily, China

China is willing to share its experience in managing agriculture and rural systems with African countries through multiple ways, and further deepen cooperation with them, Chinese Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu vowed.
A Chinese agricultural expert passes on farming technologies to farmers in Burundi, in an aid-Burundi demonstration rice field.
The country …

Africa: time is now to scale up women’s rights and nutrition activism in Africa

March 12th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, three African leaders and activists, Martin Chungong, Cameroonian Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, former Prime Minister of Niger and CEO of NEPAD Agency, and Nahas Angula, former Prime Minister of Namibia and Convener of the Namibia Alliance for Improved …

Challenges facing Ugandan agriculture

March 12th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Quite often our leaders talk about farming as the foundation of the country’s economy and it is strongly tied to poverty reduction.
The sector employs about 75 per cent of the country’s population, contributes about 20 per cent of the GDP and about 48 per cent of …