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Chips, chocolate and coffee – our food crops face mass extinction too

September 26th, 2017 / Guardian, UK

A “sixth mass extinction” is already under way, scientists are now warning us. Species such as the Bengal tiger and blue whale are vanishing at an alarming rate, and mournful eulogies are being written on how those born in 20 years’ time may never see an African elephant. But who …

New cassava variety developed

September 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Cassava is an important source of food and income for small-holder farmers in several African countries, including Uganda because it grows well in conditions of drought and low soil fertility.
However, viral diseases especially Cassava Brown Streak Virus (CBSV) and Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMV) can destroy …

The regulatory status of gene-edited agricultural products in the EU and beyond

September 25th, 2017 / Emerging Topics in Life Sciences

Governments all over the world are struggling with the regulatory status of gene-edited organisms. Are they regulated? Should they be regulated? In the present paper, the main focus is on the regulatory status of gene-edited organisms within the European regulatory framework. A stepwise analysis is performed that comes to the …

Farmers harvest double from orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties

September 25th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa

More than 35,000 farmers in Nyanza and Western Kenya are harvesting double yields per acre after adopting the high producing orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties from a research organization, International Potato Center (CIP).
Demand for the Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) is turning the food into a cash crop for the farmers in at …

We don’t have any GMO food, but genetically modified plants

September 25th, 2017 / Vanguard, Nigeria

The Federal Government has strongly assured its citizenry again that the country’s bio-security is guaranteed, insisting that there is no Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) in Nigeria.
The government, while placing the alert on importation of unauthorized maize, made it clear that no genetically modified maize had been imported into the country’s …

How do you report on crop biotechnology when critics spread misinformation?

September 25th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Interview with B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana:
Whether its’ the result of global warming or the vagaries of a complex climate, Uganda is facing a scorching reality that is killing crops and animals. Billions of shillings that could have been used in other projects is set aside for food aid to affected …

Water harvesting techniques for smallholder and large-scale farmers

September 25th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa

Kenya Meteorological Department recently warned of heavy rains between September 19 and 25, unfortunately many farmers may miss utilizing the opportunity to harvest enough of this rain water and store it for future use due to lack of even simple ways of harvesting water.
According to the Agroforestry world, Kenya is …

Why every school needs a garden

September 25th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Edward Mukiibi, the vice-president of Slow Food International, has written in a book titled: Uganda from Earth to Table that Uganda is the richest among East African countries in terms of biodiversity and that it is one of the countries with the most diverse foods in …

Uganda harvests another successful GM cassava trial

September 20th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak (CBSD) are still the most challenging constraints for cassava production in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Some Ugandans describe them as HIV for cassava. Although, there are CMD resistant cassava varieties, it is still a challenge since a good number of farmers have not …

Scientists intensify crop breeding

September 20th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Ugandan scientists have intensified efforts to breed key crops using conventional and biotechnology mechanisms in a bid for farmers to grow high yielding crops which are also resistant to pests and diseases.
Scientists from National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) have been breeding hybrid varieties of crops such …