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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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Tanzania to start confined field trials of drought-resistant GMO maize in 2016

October 30th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Tanzania plans to conduct trials for new varieties of genetically modified maize that can survive recurrent droughts and pests. The confined field trials, to start in April 2016, will be conducted in the semi-arid area of Makutupora in Dodoma to assess the potential of the maize varieties to produce high …

Uganda: New satellite data technology to provide farmers with information

October 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor

Lack of up-to-date information, especially agronomical and weather updates, has always been a big challenge for Ugandan farmers. Now the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and partners have launched a new satellite-based technology project, providing timely, accurate crop-management information via smart phones to farmers. Read …

Help improve online data on agricultural biodiversity

October 26th, 2015 / Biodiversity International

In 2015, the GBIF Secretariat and Bioversity International created a ‘Task Group on Data Fitness for Use in Agrobiodiversity’ to improve the quality and quantity of data on the GBIF portal that are important to agricultural biodiversity research and policy communities. These include data on agricultural biodiversity monitoring, gaps in …

Facing drought-induced food shortage, Zimbabwe confronts GMO dilemma

October 26th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Zimbabwe is facing a crippling maize (staple in Zimbabwe) shortage. Vice President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has revealed that the cash strapped government needs at least US$300 million to import 700 000 tons of maize to meet national consumption. And According to the World Food Program (WFP), Zimbabwe’s food crisis …