In the news...

Can Africa provide enough low-carbon land to meet global food needs?

May 1st, 2015 / The Global Forum on Agricultural Research

With its largely untapped land-resources for agriculture expansion, could Africa really be the world’s next low-carbon breadbasket? Africa’s croplands should be prioritized to secure enough food for the continent, and not staple exports or bioenergy needs. Read …

Deathmatch: conventional breeding vs transgenesis

May 1st, 2015 / Biology Fortified

Is traditional breeding, including mutagenesis, “better” than transgenesis? This post shall seek out the answer. Drumroll… It’s the battle of the methods, thunderdome-style!! Deathmatch: traditional breeding vs transgenesis. Two methods enter, one method leaves. Or maybe there will be a tie. Who knows? Read …

Fighting the banana bacterial wilt

April 30th, 2015 / Sunday Monitor, Uganda

They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. This is the long walk towards eliminating the Banana Xanthomonas Wilt, commonly known as banana bacterial wilt, which is a major threat to the crop. B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru traces the spread of disease in Uganda, its impact …

Rural women playing vital roles in food security

April 30th, 2015 / Modern Ghana

Women in Ghana, and for that matter, rural women play a vital role in the attainment of food security. Through the production, processing and marketing of food crops, women are seen as the main stay of the agricultural value chain business in the country. Read …

Heat tolerant beans fight climate change

April 29th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Bean breeders have discovered 30 types of ‘heat beater beans’ that could keep production from crashing in large swaths of bean-dependent Latin America and Africa, in the wake of fears that global warming could zap a vital source of protein that has sustained humans for centuries. Read …

B4FA Week in Review – 29 April 2015

April 29th, 2015

This week, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan finally signed the country’s National Biosafety Agency Bill into law. The new law aims to allow safe application of biotechnology to boost economic development, according to an article by B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe, and will allow Nigeria to commercialize Bt-cotton, Bt-maize and Herbicide Tolerant …

B4FA Week in Review – 22 April 2015

April 22nd, 2015

Will we have to hack photosynthesis in order to meet the world’s food needs? A recent paper, published in Cell, suggests that supercomputers and genetic engineering could someday help boost plants’ ability to convert sunlight into energy. Among the possibilities are genetically engineering crops to widen the spectrum of light …

B4FA Week in Review – 15 April 2015

April 15th, 2015

Welcome back to the B4FA newsletter. We hope you all had an enjoyable spring break!
This week, wheat takes the stage. Kansas State University scientists have created a first-of-its-kind genetic map for wheat, providing a detailed description of its genetic differences around the world. Based on an analysis of 62 wheat varieties, the map offers access …

B4FA Week in Review – 31 March 2015

March 31st, 2015

Plant breeders at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have (re-)discovered a vintage bean variety – the tepary, once grown by native Americans in the southwest US and Mexico in hot and arid climates. Researchers are crossing these with modern beans to create heat-tolerant varieties, as beans are extremely sensitive to higher temperatures, making them particularly vulnerable …

The GM crops debate: Campaigners for and against go head-to-head

March 28th, 2015 / The Independent, UK

One pro and one anti GM campaigner to go head to head on the issues to help readers make up their own minds. Claire Robinson of GMWatch (anti) and Mark Lynas, an author and pro GM technology, took up the challenge. Read …