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Africa’s collaborative biotech research bears fruit

July 27th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Dr. Priver Namanya adjusted her view in the microscope, trying to get a better image of the banana cells. Then a smile lit her face. After spending the day trying to ascertain that she had incorporated a vitamin A gene into the banana cells, she had achieved success.
Namanya, a plant …

How food biotechnology is improving food security

July 27th, 2018 / Borgen Magazine

Food Biotechnology Improves Crop Yields and Growing Times
Advancements in food biotechnology such as genetic engineering and gene editing have allowed for the sequencing of various crop species like pearl millet. Pearl millet is commonly cultivated in sub-Saharan Africa, India and other South Asian countries and is commonly regarded as a …

Synchronised policies needed for biotech

July 26th, 2018 / The Land, Australia

The most recent data shows that in 2017, 189.8 million hectares of biotech/genetically modified (GM) crops were planted across 24 countries, and imported by 43 countries, according to industry organisation the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).
To date, growth in planted hectares has been largely confined …

The ABCs of growing watermelons

July 26th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
To yield five to six watermelons per plant, it is critical that pollination is successful. The farmer must also choose a variety that is resistant to wilt, for example, Charleston Gray and Sukari F1, writes Lominda Afedraru.
Growing watermelon has become a lucrative business in the country …

European ruling could slow Africa’s push for CRISPR crops

July 26th, 2018 / Wired.com

Many European scientists cheered back in January when it seemed the court of the European Union would ease its restrictions on gene-editing technology in food. In a 15,000-word opinion, an advisor to the European Court of Justice suggested that gene-edited crops should not face the same stiff regulations as genetically …

CABI launches space-age technology to fight crop-devastating pest outbreaks in Kenya

July 24th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), is developing a Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) to fight against crop-devastating pest outbrakes in Kenya.
The service was launched at a Plantwise plant clinic in Manyatta in Kenya’s Eastern Province.
Cambria Finegold, global director …

Vitamin-infused sweet potato that helped cut Africa’s infant mortality 25 percent

July 24th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The 2016 World Food Prize went to a group that coordinated the breeding, promotion and distribution of the orange-fleshed sweet potato in Africa. One of [the researchers] on the team was economist Dr. Jan Low. The sweet potato grows well in many parts of Africa. It is not the sweet …

European court appears poised to rule that gene edited crops should not be regulated as GMOs

July 24th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Gene editing in agriculture takes centre stage [July 25th] when Europe’s highest court rules in a case that could determine the fate of the technology that is already making waves in the field of medicine.
The European Union has long restricted the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) widely adopted around …

Getting the most out of your farm

July 24th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow and farmer, Michael Ssali, writes:
In order to get the most out your farm with regard to yields and quality there are some considerations that you should take into account.
One of them is being open to learning new things all the time because farming is dynamic. New challenges keep …

AGRA: the march towards a Green Revolution in Africa

July 24th, 2018 / allianceforagreenrev/youtube

AGRA exists to fulfill the vision that Africa can feed itself and the world. Investing in agriculture is the surest path to reducing poverty and hunger in Africa. Despite the challenges African farmers face today – poor soils, degraded soils, unreliable water supplies, poor access to markets, insufficient access to …