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Week in Review

B4FA Week in Review – 8 March 2017

March 8th, 2017 / B4FA.org

Sorghum features in biotech news this week as in Albuquerque, New Mexico, researchers are reworking a sensing technology that monitors root function to help develop improved sorghum crops. Using a newly modified microneedle-based fluidic sensor – originally developed for national security applications such as detection of chemical agents – scientists …

B4FA Week in Review – 1 March 2017

March 1st, 2017 / B4FA.org

At the top of the news is a UN warning of impending famine in four countries: South Sudan, Somalia, the northeastern part of Nigeria and Yemen – and famine has already been declared in two counties in South Sudan. “We are facing a tragedy; we must avoid it becoming a catastrophe,” says United …

B4FA Week in Review – 22 February 2017

February 22nd, 2017 / B4FA.org

Several interesting biotech developments around the world this week. First, Washington State University scientists have introduced a new perennial grain dubbed Salish Blue – a cross between wheat and wild wheat grass. The goal of this breeding project was to create a wheat-like grain that regrows every year, so that farmers don’t …

B4FA Week in Review – 15 February 2017

February 15th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, reports confirm that scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia have cracked the genetic code for quinoa, the ancient South American “superfood” has recently become prized in the United States and Europe for its highly nutritious seeds – and the FAO is …

B4FA Week in Review

February 8th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, we carry four stories on the continuing controversy surrounding genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). In an interview with Rose Gidado, Nigeria’s Coordinator of the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology, dispels some of the common myths for farmers and consumers alike. Then, Fred Gould, chair of U.S. National Academies of Sciences GMO report, reaffirms safety of …

B4FA Week in Review – 1 February 2017

February 1st, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, we feature two stories about burgeoning research into microbes and how they might be harnessed to safeguard and improve crops. In “Why microbes are key to solving Africa’s food security crisis“, the Conversation, Africa, describes a few initiatives across the continent that may help farmers take advantage of the latest …

B4FA Week in Review – 25 January 2016

January 25th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, the chair of the African Union Commission appointed a ten-member panel to advise the continent on use of existing and emerging technologies for economic development, including assessing ethical and safety requirements and standards. NEPAD, the African Union’s economic development programme, will work closely with the panel, to be co-chaired …

B4FA Week in Review – 18 January 2017

January 18th, 2017 / B4FA.org

Drought-plagued Southern Africa is facing a new threat: the invasion of fall armyworms, an invasive caterpillar from the Americas that’s already devastated 10 percent of farms inZambia and has spread to Zimbabwe and Malawi. The fall armyworm has destroyed tens of thousands of acres of corn fields in Southern Africa, …

B4FA Week in Review – 11 January 2016

January 11th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, we’re perusing a fascinating map of smallholder farms in developing countries that was released at the end of last year. Created by researchers at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment (IonE), the map used household census data to map farming populations and average farm sizes across …

B4FA Week in Review – 4 January 2017

January 4th, 2017 / B4FA.org

New year’s greetings to all our readers! We ease into 2017 with a summary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP13, which ended on 17 December in Cancun, Mexico. During the conference, governments agreed on steps to promote integration of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity across sectors, including agriculture. …