Tuesday, August 21, 2018
BIRDPRENEUR. Nigerian poultry production faces three main problems: lack of financial resources, reliance on old knowledge, and no connection to a market to sell its product. To help solve these issues Michael Iyanro founded BirdPreneur. Iyanro and his wife came up with the idea for their start-up one night watching television. “We were watching a television program and saw that the Nigerian population has grown to 198 million people,” says Iyanro. “We started thinking about what it will be like in 2050 and what the food requirements will be.” His childhood experiences of raising chickens with his mom led him to base the company on poultry. HOW IT WORKS The start-up not only educates Nigerian farmers on the technologies available locally, but also trains them on smart farming techniques, such as using resources more efficiently, to better grow food and make their farming practices effective. Individuals are identified through farmer associations in rural areas. Sign up
Monday, August 20, 2018
GENE EDITING AND PIG CASTRATION. Male piglets used for pork production are routinely castrated to improve the quality of meat for consumers. Castration gets rid of boar taint, an unpleasant odor and unsavory taste in the meat. For decades, castration has been done surgically. But new breeding technology can produce male piglets that never reach puberty. Tad Sonstegard is the chief scientific officer of Acceligen, a company that focuses on genetic improvement in food animals. He says these piglets will come from the company DNA Genetics. "Those males will have had to have been rescued from being infertile, and then they would just breed sows that also had been rescued and the offspring between the breeding of those two rescued genetic lines would result in sterile males and females, we believe," he says. "Those are what would be sold from the multiplier sites out to the swine producers." The technology will make a piglet’s life a little easier – and the producer’s as well. GENE EDITING AND PIG CASTRATION.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Pesticides, human health, and food security. The worldwide population is projected to increase to 9 billion by 2050 (United Nations 2015). To accommodate this increase, food production will necessarily need to increase as well. However, new agricultural land is limited, so sustainable production and increasing productivity of existing agricultural land is an important aspect to addressing global food security (Popp et al. 2013). Food security has been described as a condition of humanity “…when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” (Food and Agriculture Organization 1996). Increases in the terrestrial agricultural production of food and fish farming will be necessary to ensure adequate food availability, but this is only part of the larger concept of food security that also comprises food access, utilization, and stability (Food and Agriculture Organization 2006). Given that there is limited additional land available for agriculture and sites for fish farming coupled with increasing economic pressures to produce agricultural commodities for industrial purposes, including fiber and biofuels, strategies to increase agricultural yield will need to be used to meet the increase in food demand for the immediate future . For the near and foreseeable future, pesticides may be an important component of a comprehensive strategy to increase crop yield by preventing both pre and postharvest loss to pests.“Pesticides are substances used to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate any pest ranging from insects, animals and weeds to microorganisms” (Grube et al. 2011), but inadvertent exposure to pesticides may adversely affect human health. Glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer by California state scientists and the World Health Organization is the active ingredient in Roundup, the Monsanto weed killer that is the most heavily used pesticide ,has been found to leave residue in food thus posing health risks. Each year, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on American crops, primarily on “Roundup-ready” corn and soybeans genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide. But when it comes to the food we eat, the highest glyphosate levels are not found in products made with GMO corn. Increasingly, glyphosate is also sprayed just before harvest on wheat, barley, oats and beans that are not genetically engineered. Glyphosate kills the crop, drying it out so that it can be harvested sooner than if the plant were allowed to die naturally.
Monday, August 13, 2018
New Australian Study Shows GM Crops Cause Leaky Stomachs in Rats.A ground breaking new study from Australian experts has shown that so-called “Bt proteins”, produced by some GM crops, may not be as safe as previously assumed. Any two cells that line the stomach are normally held tightly against each other to form a “tight junction”. This stops any bacteria, viruses or food particles from leaking out from the stomach into the tissues of the body. The study found that the rats fed the GM corn had gaps in their tight junctions. This is called “poor apposition”. On average, this was five times greater in rats fed the GM corn diet. Poor apposition should not occur in normal, healthy stomachs. Yet every stomach section seen in rats fed the GM diet had these gaps between a number of cells. Dr. Judy Carman, one of the lead scientists involved in the study, said: “This means that there is a risk that eating GM maize could cause leakage of substances from the stomach and therefore increase the risk of developing allergies, or infections from the microbes in the food you eat or the water you drink.” In addition, the lining of the stomach has microscopic pits in it. Cells in the pits produce mucus to protect the stomach from stomach acid. The bottom of each pit divides into two long, straight glands. These glands produce stomach acid to help digest food. While the researchers saw some dilated (i.e. swollen) glands in rats fed the GM diet and those fed the non-GM diet, the rats fed the non-GM diet had smaller swellings and the cells lining the glands looked normal. In contrast, the glands in the GM-fed group were much more swollen, they often contained debris or mucus, and the cells lining the glands were often abnormal. For example, some cells were stretched or longer than they should have been. More than six times as many rats had glands that were both swollen and lined with elongated cells in the GM-fed group. While every rat on the GM diet showed at least one gland that looked like that, none of the rats fed the non-GM diet showed this pathology.
Friday, July 6, 2018
Synthetic meats are on their way, and our farmers are going to be left behind.Fake’ animal proteins are set to disrupt world markets – and much faster than our agriculture industry is anticipating, argues food strategist Dr Rosie Bosworth.
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Campylobacter in poultry: An elusive pathogen. Campylobacter — primarily Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli — frequently colonize the intestinal tract of domestic poultry at high levels. The bacterium is well adapted to the avian host and, despite extensive colonization, it produces little or no overt disease in poultry. That makes it difficult to detect and control in live birds. Despite its insignificance for poultry health, Campylobacter is a leading cause of foodborne gastroenteritis in humans worldwide.The poultry reservoir, especially broiler meat, is the most commonly recognized source for human Campylobacter. Campylobacter is, in general, highly prevalent on poultry farms, but the prevalence varies by region, seasons and production types, with reported Campylobacter-positive flocks ranging from 2% to 100%. Once a broiler flock is infected with Campylobacter, the majority of birds become colonized within a few days, and the overall within-flock prevalence reaches very high levels by processing age, leading to increased carcass contamination. A unique feature of Campylobacter ecology in poultry is that birds younger than 2 to 3 weeks of age are almost never colonized by the organism in commercial production settings, which implies that young birds have a biological mechanism for colonization resistance. If the reasons for this colonization resistance are revealed, they could be used to design effective strategies to prevent birds from getting infected.
Monday, November 27, 2017
Taking time to walk the pens, make eye contact with each pig and pull the sick ones for individual care seems to conflict with the basic tenets and efficiencies of population medicine.One-on-one pig care means to make sure to look at every pig every day — and that we evaluate them essentially from tail to snout — to try to identify any potential problems that pig may have as quickly as possible. The approach involves three basic steps: Identifying the at-risk pig, being specific about its symptoms and effectively communicating the situation to others in the operation. Practically speaking, the process begins with spotting the outlier — the pig that simply strikes you as somehow unusual. Farmers shoulld walk through the barn to develop a pattern as they go through each pen, to make sure they get an opportunity to look at every pig. Basically, looking for any of the clinical signs that the pig isn’t normal such as For example: 1)Is he coughing?. 2)Does he have diarrhea? 3)Is he gaunt and not eating? 4)Is there nasal discharge?. 5)Does he appear stiff or lame when he moves? The next step will be to institute individual treatment protocols with an injectable antibiotic — typically already in place and specific for each farm and for each flow and system — can be called into use right away and used under veterinary supervision. Early intervention is really the key as we look at individual pig care,because we know that if we treat a pig later in the course of the disease, we have poorer response to treatment so if we can treat the pig earlier, we can have a better response. Research has shown that on farms with low health status, training caretakers to identify and treat sick pigs at an early stage of disease can improve growth and productivity during the all-important nursery and growing periods.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Why food is the new Internet. We don’t need to feed the world, we need to get smarter about food. The Industrial food system built in the 60s and 70s has left us simultaneously fat and starving and it’s time for it to die. There’s an opportunity for smart young entrepreneurs to build a new smart food system that supplies the natural, local food people are demanding. Farmland is available, new technologies have created new possibilities and investors are flooding into the sector. Kimbal Musk and his personal mission to remake the American food system in Silicon Valley’s image. Kimbal Musk made his money in tech with his brother, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and sees agriculture as ripe for revolution. He’s fond of calling food “the new internet.”