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Latest China-funded biotech research facility completed in Nairobi

September 30th, 2016 / Coastweek, Kenya

A state-of-the-art facility funded by the Chinese government to promote collaborative research with African countries in the field of agriculture and biodiversity conservation has beenofficially handed over to a Kenyan university.
A hand-over ceremony was held on the campus of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where the …

Farmers need new knowledge all the time

September 30th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: Empowering smallholder farmers to become more productive should be more than mere provision of free seed and planting material—a practice that is apparently going across the country.
New challenges keep cropping up as time passes. With our rapidly increasing population, the small plots on which our …

Former anti-GMO campaigner Mark Lynas: Green movement should support crop biotech

September 30th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Former anti-GMO campaigner Mark Lynas discusses what changed his mind about GMOs. He addresses why the green movement is so threatened by GMOs and why the environmental movement should be an ally in promoting biotech that reduce environmental impacts of agriculture. See …

Discovery may benefit farmers worldwide

September 28th, 2016 /

University of Guelph plant scientists have shown for the first time how an ancient crop teams up with a beneficial microbe to protect against a devastating fungal infection, a discovery that may benefit millions of subsistence farmers and livestock in developing countries.
The M6 microbe lives in the roots of finger …

Breakthrough in salt-tolerance in plants research

September 28th, 2016 / University of Adelaide, Australia

University of Adelaide researchers have made a breakthrough in investigating salt tolerance in plants which could lead to new salt tolerant varieties of crops, and also answer unresolved questions in plant biology.
The researchers, also from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and in collaboration with the University’s …

New DNA analysis technology to dramatically accelerate improvements in agricultural production

September 28th, 2016 /

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that it has developed a new deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis technology called Genotyping by Random Amplicon Sequencing (GRAS) using analytical materials that have been provided by the Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center (KARC) of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO). This technology is …

Pending global seed monopolies could threaten small-scale African farmers

September 28th, 2016 / AFK Insider, US

Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming the battleground of the world’s giant seed companies, which are in the process of negotiating a series of corporate consolidations that could leave almost 60 percent of the world’s seeds in the control of three firms, according to a report in The Guardian.
Until recently, six or …

Farmers benefit from smallholder farmer’s empowerment for food security project

September 28th, 2016 /

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: “Some beneficiary farmers under the smallholder Farmer’s Empowerment For Food Security Project are optimistic the new farm management practices introduced to them have improve their crop yields.
“The farmers said this during a field day interaction exercise in the Tolon District for 10 communities.
“The Smallholder Farmer’s …

Planning for weak rains, choice of seeds is critical

September 28th, 2016 / The Sunrise, Uganda

Research by Ugandan scientists offers hope for farmers in the face of dry conditions. The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) working with the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project recently released a new drought tolerant maize variety named Drought Tego or Drought Shield. Released only in July this year, …

Success of GMO crops in neighbouring countries may influence adoption in Ghana

September 28th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Ghana is currently running confined field trials of some selected GE crops, but analysis of ongoing genetically modified organism (GMO) debates and published opinions shows a considerable amount of opposition to GE agriculture and GMOs in Ghana. This notwithstanding, we suggest that Bt cotton cultivation in Burkina Faso—Ghana’s immediate neighbor …