Have you ever wondered why mushrooms are so expensive and seem like an elitist food? Why would a fungus cost more than beef and fish? How nutritious could this delicacy be? Well, wonder no more. All types of edible mushrooms contain varying degrees of protein and fibre. They also contain B vitamins as well as selenium, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues. Mushrooms are being increasingly researched and used for their important health benefits with different varieties having different medicinal properties.
All plants and animals, from protists to humans, live in close association with microbial organisms that form microbiotas. A microbiota is an "ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms found in and on all multicellular organisms studied to date. A microbiota includes bacteria, archaea, protists, fungi and viruses. The synonymous term microbiome describes either the collective genomes of the microorganisms that reside in an environmental niche or the microorganisms themselves.
On 31 July – 3 August 2017, NEPAD SANBio (Southern Africa Network for Biosciences), with the support of the BioFISA II Programme (a Finnish-Southern African Partnership Programme to Strengthen NEPAD SANBio), and the Botswana Innovation Hub held the SANBio Winter School on Indigenous Knowledge Systems Commercialisation in Gaborone, Botswana.
The Southern Africa Network for Biosciences, in partnership with the SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) and with support from the BioFISA II Programme, is hosting a training course on Plant Genetic Resources Management in Lusaka, Zambia, from 7-12 August 2017.
Dennis Goodson Chinkhata, a Master’s Degree student in Rural Development and Agriculture Extension at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Malawi, recently received a BioFISA II mobility grant from SANBio.
Food safety is a global issue of increasing concern for governments, food producers, food processors and handlers, as well as consumers. For Africa and particularly the Southern African region, governments are always putting much effort and funds into solutions for food security. However, the progress made has not made the region food secure. Nonetheless, while governments create platforms for development, the major drivers of development are private sectors entities.
The third round of the Lean Entrepreneur in Biosciences training arranged by SANBio/BioFISA II has been successfully concluded in Pretoria. This week-long workshop was attended by 27 participants representing 10 project proposals from 9 countries in the SADC region. The training was a precursor to full proposal submission, due on 9th of November 2016, and also contributed towards the goal of capacity building in the region.