Agriculture

African bees – a solution to North Americas bee problems?

As spring arrives in North America, the introduced European honeybees which pollinate many of the food crops upon which the world depends are not in sufficient health to perform their job. This is a complicated problem, which has an impact on both human survival in terms of what we eat, and also in terms of our adjusting to using sustainable fuels – many of which are produced from crops pollinated by bees. Why are European bees failing in areas such as the USA, Canada, Argentina and Europe to name a few? The European bees have been bred and managed by humans for the purpose of honey...

Green muscle test beats locusts

Photo credit: Janice Limson Squadrons of aeroplanes dumping pesticides on agricultural land to head off locust invasions could be a thing of the past if a mushroom-based organic product currently being tested in Mauritania is successful. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Mauritanian Locust Centre are testing a clean biological agent meant to wipe out locusts, following an invasion in October in the remote northeast of the country, 200 km from the capital Nouakchott. The product being tested has already been given a name by its South African producers: Green Muscle. Locusts...

Rosedale organic citrus farm - Organic Biotechnology in Action.

For years, organic agriculture in South Africa has largely been perceived to be a fringe activity followed by a group of eccentric farmers for whom profit is not a major objective. The Sundays River Organic Growers association has not fallen into this category, but is rather adopting a mainstream alternative approach while creating real sustainable wealth for Africa.

Corn grain mould used as pesticide

In the early 1960s more than 100,000 turkeys died in Britain of cancer of the liver. Eventually, researchers identified mouldy peanut flour from Brazil containing large amounts of aflatoxin as the cause of this mysterious 'turkey X' disease. Even today the toxin is regarded as one of the most virulent natural carcinogenic substances. The tasteless toxin is produced by the mould aspergillus flavus . It grows in hot, arid regions, in the south-west of the US and in many regions of Africa and Asia. In Third World countries, particularly, this dangerous paintbrush-shaped mould is ubiquitous. This...

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