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Week in Review

B4FA Month in Review MARCH 2019

March 29th, 2019 /

WE HAVE CHANGED …Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) was set up to help African farmers unlock the continent’s huge agricultural potential. Initially we provided training, with the involvement of local scientists, to African journalists from both East and West Africa so they could communicate balanced, scientifically based information on best …

B4FA Week in Review – 28 February 2019

February 28th, 2019 /

We are pleased to highlight an article by our own Professor Chris Leaver – an overview of the world’s current food security situation noting the challenges inherent in feeding a projected population of 9.7 billion in 2050, 2.5 billion of whom will be African. He calls for sustainable intensification and, especially in Africa, …

B4FA Week in Review – 21 February 2019

February 21st, 2019 /

This week, a report published in the journal Biological Control stated that the Bt crops planted on more than 1 million acres over more than two decades have had no unintended negative consequences affecting non-targeted species and in fact may support ecological conservation because the crops reduce the use of synthetic pesticides that would harm …

B4FA Week in Review – 14 February 2019

February 14th, 2019 / B4FA


This week we feature two stories emerging from Ethiopia. First the country recently won patent rights at The Court of The Hague for products made from teff, an ancient grain native to Ethiopia and which is its staple food. The patent will allow Ethiopia to supply teff to Europe, supporting …

B4FA Week in Review – 8 February 2019

February 9th, 2019


This week we highlight two stories reporting on the use of gene editing to destroy a virus that affects many of the bananas grown in Africa and to make Cavendish bananas, those sold in supermarkets worldwide, resistant to a disease that threatens to make it impossible to grow this variety commercially. In …

B4FA Week in Review – 31 January 2019

January 31st, 2019 / B4FA Week in Review – 24 January 2019

Nigeria’s National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has approved the commercial release of Bt pest-resistant cowpea, its first genetically modified food crop. The decision follows nearly ten years of research seeking a solution to the scourge of the Maruca vitrata pod boring insect, a pest that can reduce cowpea yields by …

B4FA Week in Review – 24 January 2019

January 24th, 2019 /

This week the The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health published a report attempting to achieve scientific consensus on what constitutes a diet both healthy for human bodies and sustainable for the planet. “Food in the Anthropocene”, commissioned by the medical journal The Lancet and published on 17 January 2019, was produced over …

B4FA Week in Review – 17 January 2019

January 17th, 2019 /

We focus on the state of agricultural biotech in Nigeria this week as the country’s National Biosafety Management Agency applies to commercialise Bt cowpea. If the application is approved, the genetically modified cowpea – which is resistant to the pod borer pest – will become the nation’s first GM food crop. Benefits would …

B4FA Week in Review – 10 January 2019

January 10th, 2019 /

Scientists have found a way to genetically modify plants to fix a flaw in photosynthesis, a breakthrough that may substantially boost the yield of food crops, according to a story in the BBC. The experiments, carried out in the United States on tobacco plants, found a way to bypass a …

B4FA Week in Review – 3 January 2019

January 3rd, 2019 /

New year’s greetings from all of us at B4FA. We enter 2019 highlighting a forward-looking piece posted in Cornell’s Alliance for Science blog – “Africa can’t afford to miss the gene revolution, ag experts say” – that interviews African agricultural experts encouraging the continent’s embrace of biotechnology.

In the article, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria’s (ARCN) Yarama …