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Long-term study finds that the glyphosate does NOT cause cancer

November 13th, 2017 / The Scientist, US

A new study has found no conclusive link between exposure to glyphosate—the main ingredient in a popular weedkiller—and cancer.
The new study, which was seen by Reuters, draws on long-term data collected through the Agricultural Health Study. This has monitored the health of nearly 90,000 people in Iowa and North Carolina …

Nigeria stakeholders strategise on Bt cotton release

November 13th, 2017 / Scientific Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Alex Abutu writes:
Following the endorsement of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbe of the Bt Cotton project for Nigeria, stakeholders in the country are strategising for the eventual uptake and release of the Bollgard II cotton to farmers.
The Bollgard II cotton project which was …

GMO potatoes provide improved Vitamin A and E profiles

November 10th, 2017 / Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, US

Genetically modified crops have had no shortage of controversy over the years, much of it rooted in fear and the general lack of fundamental scientific knowledge. Yet researchers have pushed forward in developing crops that could help boost basic nutritional requirements for developing nations that rely heavily on foods that …

Experts root for quality seeds to boost food security

November 10th, 2017 / News Ghana

International agricultural experts called for establishment of a viable system for the production and supply of quality and high-yielding seeds to help boost food security in Africa.
The experts from the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Africa’s agricultural think tank said quality seeds are key solution to transforming Africa’s underdeveloped agricultural …

Farmers opt for GM cowpea?

November 10th, 2017 / News Ghana

Some farmers in Nyakpala in the Northern Region have opted for Biotech (Bt) Cowpea or Genetically Modified (GM) Cowpea, due its ability to withstand the most deadly pests that destroy cowpea in the area.
The farmers say they witnessed high yields due to the strength of the Bt Cowpea against the …

Kenyan scientists find new striga resistance genes in wild sorghum

November 9th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Wild sorghum will soon provide a reservoir for resistance genes against Striga. A research team lead by Dr. Steven Runo of the Plant Transformation Laboratory (PTL) at Kenyatta University and Professor Michael Timko of University of Virginia has identified three wild sorghum accessions resistant to Striga hermonthica (witchweed), a parasitic …

CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing of cassava

November 9th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

CRISPR-Cas9 has proved to be a powerful genome-editing tool for introducing genetic changes into crop species. However, it has not yet been used to edit cassava (Manihot esculenta). To test the capacity of CRISPR-Cas9 in cassava, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center researcher John Odipio and his team targeted the …

Agriculture training in South Africa badly needs an overhaul …

November 9th, 2017 / The Conversation

Agriculture delivers more jobs per rand invested than any other productive sector. If the entire agriculture value chain is considered in South Africa, its contribution to GDP reaches approximately 12%.
South Africa has the ability to meet national food requirements – yet more than 7 million citizens experience hunger. A further …

Rwanda: Meet the retired soldier making millions from growing improved sweet-potato

November 8th, 2017 / New Times

Jean Marie Vianney Habumuremyi says he had previously looked at sweet potatoes as for only home consumption. Then he received a new variety of potatoes from a USAID project. The new orange-fleshed sweet potato variety can produce eight tonnes per hectare, four times as much as his former crop. This …

Can Kenyan farmers combat food insecurity with climate-smart agriculture?

November 8th, 2017 / Equal Times

Farmers in Kenya are being taught about climate-smart agriculture (CSA), farming methods that will enable them to make the most of their own land by helping to ensure food security and economic empowerment from the sale of surplus crops such as sorghum, millet, green grams (mung beans), cassava and cow …