Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 408
Posted on: January 11th, 2019



This weeks quote is from Sabah Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Junz Wong who expressed the potential in the coconut industry. The demand for the fruit is increasing due to higher local and foreign demand for downstream coconut products.

“Cultivation of coconut palms has a very strong potential of becoming a new source of income for farmers,” Wong said in a statement issued today in conjunction with his visit to the Ulu Dusun Agriculture Research Station near here.





ARARE study shows more women in agriculture gaining qualifications

The education of women in agriculture is improving, additionally, women made up 28% of all managers, causing half the women in agriculture working as manager.

In 2016, women had more qualifications than average for the industry. More and more were studying agricultural science, animal husbandry and wool science. Between 2011 and 2016, 23 per cent more women had completed an agricultural qualification, with 27,384 qualifying.

In contrast, the rate of men getting qualifications went up only eight per cent in the same five years.

Three quarters of the women in agriculture did at least five or more hours work a week unpaid, which was more than women did nationally.

More than a third volunteered, which was significantly more than women nationally, whose volunteering rate was 23 per cent. Overall, women volunteered more than men.

The largest proportion of women in agriculture in 2016 were aged between 55 and 59 years, while the median age of women in the industry was 49 years. 23% of women in the agricultural workforce are aged between 15 to 34 years.

Leah McBey, The Advocate, December 26th, 2018





Genetically modified pigs against swine flu

Researchers have developed genetically modified pigs that are protected from classical swine fever virus (CSFV), according to a study published by Hongsheng Ouyang of Jilin University, PLOS Pathogens. As noted by the authors, these pigs offer potential benefits over commercial vaccination and could reduce economic losses related to classical swine fever.

Despite efforts by many government authorities through extensive investigation to stamp out the disease from pig populations, it remains widespread, and it is only a matter of time before the virus is reintroduced and the next round of disease outbreaks occurs. Due to the urgent need to develop effective approaches to eradicate CSFV, Ouyang and colleagues generated CSFV-resistant pigs by combining a gene-editing tool called CRISPR/Cas9 with RNA interference (RNAi), a technique that silences gene expression.

The researchers demonstrated that these pigs could effectively limit the replication of CSFV and reduce CSFV-associated clinical signs and mortality. Moreover, disease resistance could be stably transmitted to first-generation offspring. Currently, the researchers are conducting long-term studies to monitor the safety and effectiveness of this approach as these animals age. According to the authors, generating anti-CSFV pigs using a genome editing-based strategy could be a direct and effective approach to facilitate the permanent introduction of novel disease resistance traits into the mass population of production pigs via conventional breeding techniques. In addition, this antiviral strategy can be applied to other domestic species and could provide insights for future antiviral research.

Source: Science Daily, 13 December 2018






This week’s chart shows the change in agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) in the United States over time.










What do you get when you cross a robot and a tractor? A transfarmer.



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