More than 150 people have died and thousands of livestock have succumbed to an outbreak of Rift Valley fever, first detected in the northern region of Kenya in late December 2006. The impact on Kenya's meat industry is now of major concern.
While the global debate over genetically modified crops continues, Argentina could not imagine an agricultural landscape without them. In 2007, 98 per cent of the country's soybean crop will be GM, but why the growing trend, and what is the impact for farmers and the environment?
Upland rice varieties, the New Rices for Africa (NERICAs) have been bred by crossing African and Asian rice plants, providing many traits that make them particularly suitable for women farmers. The African Rice Initiative, hosted by the Africa Rice Center (WARDA), is co-ordinating efforts to scale up cultivation of the varieties across the African continent.
More than 100 million hectares were planted to GM crops in 2006, a rise of 13 per cent from the previous year. Future growth is predicted to be highest in the developing world, particularly in Asia.
Despite its status as a semi-legal crop, farmers are showing an enterprising spirit, and by using lessons learned from other crops they are taking the initiative to meet consumer demands.