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Morocco’s progress on food security acknowledged by UN

November 3rd, 2015 / The Guardian, UK

Morocco’s progress on reducing poverty and eliminating hunger through a nationwide plan has received qualified praise from the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Hilal Elver acknowledged the country’s achievements in boosting production through “plan Maroc vert” (plan for a green Morocco, or PMV), but cautioned that more …

Kenya considers lifting GMO ban, debates traditional seeds v. patents

November 2nd, 2015 / AFK Insider

The Kenyan government announced plans to legalize technology for genetically modified organisms, prompting protests. During a biosafety conference in Nairobi in August, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto said the government would legalize GMO technology in November. This decision was made following intensive research, Ruto said, that GMO technology will improve …

The World Bank Group welcomes Sudan’s decision to Join the CGIAR fund

November 2nd, 2015 / AllAfrica

Sudan has decided to join the CGIAR Fund, the world’s largest public vehicle for financing the agricultural research advances needed to tackle complex global development challenges. As a donor to the CGIAR Fund, Sudan supports the development and dissemination of improved crop varieties, livestock vaccines, and sustainable agroforestry and farming …

Uganda: ‘GMO bill’ continues to divide civil society, scientists

November 2nd, 2015 / Sunrise

Certain civil society organizations want the government to shelve the biotechnology and biosafety bill, alleging that it is being pushed by foreign interests. But the Head of the Biotechnology Center at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories at Kawanda, Dr Andrew Kiggundu, dismissed this as both irresponsible and myopic. Kiggundu and …

Patents fail to boost crop yields, says study

October 30th, 2015 / SciDevNet

Policies that secure intellectual property rights (IPRs) for agricultural innovations often fail to encourage technology transfer to developing countries or increase crop yields, a study shows. IP protection can take legal form in patents or be ensured biologically, for example by making hybrids of existing crops difficult to copy or …

Ghana faces biotech research, funding crisis

October 30th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Dr. Marian D. Quain, a molecular biologist and genetic engineer at the Crop Science and Research Institution-Crop Research Institute (CSIR-CRI), has said the CRI has no funds to undertake research work in their field as research scientists. Ghana, as a country, relies on research from other countries to undertake our …

Uganda’s President Museveni endorses GMOs, tipping scales in reluctant parliament

October 30th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project

Addressing members of the Ugandan Parliament and several farmers who continue to suffer the burden of banana bacterial wilt, Uganda’s president challenged those who had doubts about biotechnology. “Biotechnology is to impart certain qualities. Legislators who are against it should modernize their thinking,” said President Museveni during the celebration of …

GM cassava could alleviate vitamin B6 deficiency

October 30th, 2015 / ETH Zürich

Plant scientists have engineered the cassava plant to produce higher levels of vitamin B6 in its storage roots and leaves. This could help to protect millions of people in Africa from serious deficiencies.
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Uganda: We must increase agriculture budget to help farmers adapt to climate change

October 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali

Opinion: Ugandan agriculture faces real challenges that can no longer be ignored. We must allocate more money to agriculture in order to help the farmers adapt to the rigors of climate change, investing in irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting, valley dams and biotech research into drought-tolerant crop varieties.
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