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Redesigning photosynthesis in key crops could help sustain global food production

November 15th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists have solved the structure of one of the key components of photosynthesis, a discovery that could lead to photosynthesis being ‘redesigned’ to achieve higher yields and meet urgent food security needs.

The study, led by the University of Sheffield and published [Nov. 13] in the journal Nature, reveals the structure of cytochrome b6f …

VIDEO: CRISPR Technology and Its Potential to Transform Agriculture

November 15th, 2019 / FAO

Genetic tools like CRISPR can help reduce pesticide use, pollution and boost food production without employing more land and water, natural resources increasingly strained by the growing food demand of expanding populations in the developing world. View video of the panel …

New gene-edited canola variety resists deadly disease, expected to drastically boost crop yields

November 15th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Three new traits for canola, which can increase crop yields and reduce harmful environmental impacts, has been developed by Cibus, a biotechnology company that has pioneered precision gene editing for agriculture. The new traits pertain to pod shatter, resistance to Sclerotinia, and weed control.

The new traits precisely edit the canola genome to reduce pod shatter, the tendency …

Scientists develop biodegradable plastic from cassava starch

November 14th, 2019 / SciDev.net

A team of scientists in Brazil has developed a biodegradable plastic that could be used for food packaging or carrier bags, by applying ozone gas to cassava starch.

The ozone (O3) gas changes the molecular properties of the starch from the root vegetable to produce a bioplastic 30 per cent tougher than those …

Will CRISPR’s promise force the organic industry to reconsider its opposition to gene-edited crops?

November 14th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops advanced by organic activist groups (and official organizations like the US National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) or the EU’s European Court of Justice) is based on the claim that recombinant DNA technology introduces genes from one species into another. That’s not natural, these critics …

Innovation needed to end food loss and global hunger

November 14th, 2019 / Relief Web

FAO Director-General addresses Vatican Conference on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said raising awareness, greater innovation – including digital technologies – and investment were needed to reduce food waste and eliminate global hunger.

The Director-General gave the keynote speech to the Vatican’s Conference on Food Loss and Waste …

China’s pork crisis is bigger than you think

November 13th, 2019 / Market Watch

One doesn’t appreciate the magnitude and importance of the role pork plays in the Chinese diet until you spend a bit of time here. The meat is so widely consumed, and such an integral part of so many beloved Chinese dishes, that one begins to take for granted that the …

Let’s trust African scientists in war on hunger

November 13th, 2019 / Business Daily Africa

In the West, daily, people are asking themselves, “What will I eat today?” But in my home, Africa, people daily are asking themselves a more challenging question: “Will I eat today?”

In reflecting on the second question, I have concluded that it is time for the public to put their trust …

#WhiteAlert: All you need to know about aflatoxins

November 13th, 2019 / Daily Nation, Kenya

In Summary

Aflatoxin-producing fungi can contaminate crops in the field, at harvest, and during storage.Aflatoxins are odourless, tasteless and colourless, making them silent but lethal poisons.These fungi are also associated with both acute and chronic toxicity in animals and humans, including acute liver damage, liver cirrhosis and liver cancers. Read more …

Ghana’s seven year quest to increase cocoa production

November 8th, 2019

Despite red flags raised by the minority in parliament, last Wednesday, parliament voted to approved the US$600 million loan facility for the Cocoa Productivity Enhancement Project being given to Ghana by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to restructure and revamp the cocoa industry.

The project which covers a seven year duration …