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How EU countries opting out of GMOs affect the rest of the world

October 12th, 2015 / Science 2.0

For the EU countries that are opting out of GM, not much changes in terms of current farming practice, and the decision has no real cost to their citizens. It does; however, deny many EU farmers potentially valuable options in the future, particularly as the science of genetic engineering advances. …

Ghana loses 30 per cent of crop yields to pests, diseases

October 12th, 2015 / Graphic Online

In Ghana, the impact of pests and diseases on crop production is a threat to the country’s food security. An initiative called “Plant Wise” executed by the nonprofit Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International seeks to mitigate their effects on crop yields. So far, 66 plant clinics have been established in …

New analyses of cassava brown streak virus genome sequences may hasten dev of disease-free cassava

October 9th, 2015 / PLOS One

Cassava brown streak disease is caused by two devastating viruses, Cassava brown streak virus and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus, which frequently infecting one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important staple food crops. In this new research, 12 new whole genomes were uncovered, doubling the genomic sequences available in the public …

Gambia: National cassava development strategy validated with FAO

October 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica

The FAO, the Gambia’s Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders have validated the National Cassava development strategy document, intended to help transform cassava production and make it an economic commercial-oriented sector. The government has requested the support of FAO to develop cassava because the country’s economic growth has been stifled …

Genetic makeup of thousands of rice varieties placed in global seed data pool

October 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Genome sequences of more than 3,000 rice varieties have been placed with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) by IRRI, the world’s leading rice research institute, in a move to set up a global data exchange system for crop genetic resources. Having genetic information …

B4FA Week in Review – 7 October 2015

October 7th, 2015 / B4FA.org

Agricultural leaders and experts met last week in Lusaka, Zambia, for the 2015 African Green Revolution Forum. Themed “Walking the Talk on Youth and Women: Bringing Inclusive Agricultural Markets to Life,” the summit focused on engaging Africa’s fast-growing youth population in the continent’s agribusiness industry as a way of providing jobs, …

Reliable data is the answer to Africa’s $1 trillion agriculture opportunity

October 6th, 2015 / Quartz Africa

Africa has more than half of the world’s unused arable land, yet Brazil, Indonesia, and Thailand currently export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined. But the potential for growth is there. What’s needed is for investors and farmers to be better educated about markets, which requires high-quality …

Growing the seeds of change in Zambia

October 5th, 2015 / AllAfrica

A photoessay documenting the Pache Pache Seed Growers Association in Zambia, who grow improved seed with the support of Afriseeds – a seed company initially funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The association grows a number of bean varieties, cowpeas, soya, groundnuts and maize and …

Urbanisation reducing Ghanaian smallholders’ lands

October 5th, 2015 / SciDev.net, B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh

According to a new report, fertile farmlands are rapidly declining in Ghana due to pressure from population growth and urbanisation, threatening rural livelihoods and food security. The study calls for land audits to ascertain appropriate land use and urges the development of high-yielding crops for smallholders. Photo: Francisco Anzola, used …

Africa’s agriculture needs young blood, says report

October 5th, 2015 / BBC

A report produced by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and presented last week at the African Green Revolution Forum in Zambia called for modernising land-tenure systems, access to finance, and the image of farming as an industry in order to encourage Africa’s young people to enter …

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