Introducing an alien species into the environment, even if it could potentially contribute to rural employment and poverty alleviation and an alternative source of bio-fuel, is not an easy consideration.
A project to conserve Madagascar's tapia forests and revive its wild silkworms, is underway, Tapia trees (Uapaca bojeri) are known locally for their edible fruit and as the habitat of the wild Malagasy silkworm.
"Since when are organic pesticides not chemicals?" asks Prof Gerhard Verdoorn, Director of BirdLife SA. The word 'organic' is probably one of the most abused in the English language as far as a chemist is concerned. Consumers lured into believing the promises of so-called organic pesticides, take heed, there is no such thing as an environmentally friendly pesticide, says Verdoorn, they are designed to kill.
On a continent where it is dark for six months of the year and daylight for the entire summer, you might expect the long summer days to blend into one, but on a trip last summer to Cape Hallett, Antarctica, as part of a joint New Zealand-South African team of scientists, Dr Brent Sinclair and team discovered the opposite. Antarctica is home to some feisty, resilient and really tiny creatures.
Agriculture experts have voiced concern over plans to import seed varieties from Malaysia to address the critical shortage of farm inputs in Zimbabwe. They warn that the Malaysian seed may be unsuitable for Zimbabwe's climate.