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Planning for weak rains, choice of seeds is critical

September 28th, 2016 / The Sunrise, Uganda

Research by Ugandan scientists offers hope for farmers in the face of dry conditions. The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) working with the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project recently released a new drought tolerant maize variety named Drought Tego or Drought Shield. Released only in July this year, …

Success of GMO crops in neighbouring countries may influence adoption in Ghana

September 28th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Ghana is currently running confined field trials of some selected GE crops, but analysis of ongoing genetically modified organism (GMO) debates and published opinions shows a considerable amount of opposition to GE agriculture and GMOs in Ghana. This notwithstanding, we suggest that Bt cotton cultivation in Burkina Faso—Ghana’s immediate neighbor …

African agriculture is powering economic transformation

September 28th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

The evidence is now in and the verdict is that Africa´s agriculture is powering economic transformation in the region. African agriculture has shown remarkable improvement compared to its precarious state 15 years ago.
However, progress is uneven across the region. Governments that have invested in their agricultural sectors, such as in …

Federal Government begins enforcement on GMO rice

September 23rd, 2016 / Today, Nigeria

The Federal Government has begun visiting research institutes that conduct field trials on genetically modified rice. The move, according to officials, was to ensure strict compliance with extant laws. See …

EU’s GMO blockade trumps science and technology

September 23rd, 2016 / The Parliament Magazine, EU

Too many European politicians have chosen to either side with radical activist groups that misinform the public about GMOs, or to avoid speaking up against the misinformation. I believe that ignoring the scientific consensus and farmers’ needs, and expelling an entire technology is a high price to pay for political …

Improving cassava processing

September 22nd, 2016 / CGIAR Roots, tubers and Bananas

Much of the cassava grown in developing countries is processed to produce starch or flour used as ingredients in an array of food products. As demand for those products grows, the cassava processing industry will play an increasingly important role for farmers and local economies. The CGIAR Research Program on …

CRISPR could usher in a new era of delicious GMO foods

September 22nd, 2016 / The Atlantic, US

A few weeks ago, Stefan Jansson, a Swedish plant biologist, sat down to a plate of pasta with cabbage harvested from his garden. This cabbage was like none any human had eaten before; its DNA had been edited via a much-hyped new gene-editing technique called CRISPR. Jansson’s meal was the …

African smallholder farmers need dynamic seed sector

September 22nd, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Smallholder farmers in Africa face challenges in getting reliable access to sufficient quantities of quality seed of superior varieties at the right time at an affordable price, an expert says.
Miltone Ayieko, regional coordinator for the Kenya-based Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa (ISSD Africa) project, says that the lack of …

Breakthrough in salt-tolerance in plants research

September 21st, 2016 / Phys.org

University of Adelaide researchers have made a breakthrough in investigating salt tolerance in plants which could lead to new salt tolerant varieties of crops, and also answer unresolved questions in plant biology. The researchers, also from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and in collaboration with the …

Genetically modified plants – technology’s ugly duckling

September 21st, 2016 / DW.com, Germany

Genetically modified food has never enjoyed the best reputation. Such is the depth of opposition to GM, even ideas that seem to promise a better future have been viewed with the utmost suspicion. Few developers of genetically modified food enjoy a reputation for being one of the good guys. Even …