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African media urged to consider ‘national interest’ in reporting on GMOs

July 23rd, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Journalists and scientists are urging African media to consider the “national interest” when reporting on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to help guide the continent’s debate on the technology.

Affail Monney, president of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said it is not enough for the media to be conveyer belts of anti- and pro-GMO …

Rising CO2, climate change projected to reduce availability of nutrients worldwide

July 23rd, 2019 / Science Daily

One of the biggest challenges to reducing hunger and undernutrition around the world is to produce foods that provide not only enough calories but also make enough necessary nutrients widely available. New research finds that, over the next 30 years, climate change and increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) could significantly reduce …

How can CRISPR technology improve plant breeding?

July 23rd, 2019 / European Scientist

A new comprehensive review paper published last week on 15 July in Nature plants explores how scientists can use CRISPR to enhance traditional plant breeding techniques with the goal of ensuring global food security (1). Gene-editing technologies like CRISPR will be particularly important “in the context of global climate change as well as in …

New genome editing technology for plant breeding

July 22nd, 2019 / Phys.org

Researchers have developed a new genome editing technology for rice, combining adenine-to-guanine single-base editing technology and Cas9 with an extended targeting scope. They report that it is possible to efficiently introduce base substitution mutations in rice genes and plan to expand the research to citrus fruit breeding. Read more …

Let Africans decide what is best for Africa!

July 22nd, 2019 / AgWeb

The statement just came to me: “Let Africans decide what is best for Africa!” 

A European “expert” had offered a different opinion. In his view, African farmers don’t need cutting-edge technology because we don’t understand the risks. He wants non-Africans to decide what is best for Africa. 

The scene was CRISPRcon 2019, a forum hosted last month in the Netherlands by …

Uganda: Schools to teach biotechnology

July 22nd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports:

Finally the Ministry of Education and Sports has endorsed a new curriculum for the agriculture course unit that requires students in middle secondary school to be trained in modern biosciences including modern biotechnology applications.

The news which was also published by the online Crop Biotech Update (July …

Chinese scientists develop gene-edited soybean that can grow in warmer climates

July 19th, 2019 / SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center

Chinese agricultural scientists are using gene-editing tools to create soybean mutants that can adapt to warmer climates in low-altitude regions, in a bid to increase production of the crop in southern China.

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences have knocked out two key genes that regulate soybean flowering to …

African Union mulls harmonized biosafety system framework

July 19th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

The African Union (AU) is looking at the possibility of harmonizing biosafety regulations to ensure more effective handling of biotechnology applications in its 55 member-states.

The issue ranked top on the agenda at the just-concluded training for African biosafety regulators in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that was organized by the AU and its Development …

African Agricultural Scientists Root For GMOs

July 19th, 2019 / ChimpReport

Agricultural scientists from various African countries meeting in Kampala this week, spoke in unison calling on the African population to embrace use of Genetically Modified Organisms and varieties commonly known as GMOs as a way to address challenges faced in cropping systems. Read more … …

Closing the gender digital divide, opening opportunities for women in agriculture

July 17th, 2019

From CTA, Netherlands

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are promoted as an equaliser of opportunities – but this is not always the case for women. Several African initiatives are demonstrating the critical contribution that information and knowledge can make to increase agricultural productivity and run a profitable agribusiness.

Women make up just …