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How African entrepreneurs can build knowledge economies

May 4th, 2015 / SciDevNet, UK

The growth of mobile technologies and internet access is now the backbone of any knowledge economy — we must learn that the more information we share, the more people will benefit. Read …

Five priorities for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

May 4th, 2015 / Nature, UK

This week, the United Nations is deliberating in New York how to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that it will launch formally in September. Science must be at the heart of its plans. Read …

How I Got Converted to G.M.O. Food

May 4th, 2015 / New York Times, USA

Mark Lynas writes “A lifelong environmentalist, I opposed genetically modified foods in the past. Fifteen years ago, I even participated in vandalizing field trials in Britain. Then I changed my mind. After writing two books on the science of climate change, I decided I could no longer continue taking a …

Training young scientists to help farmers

May 4th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes “Investing in closing gaps in plant breeding and seed systems is critical in combating hunger, malnutrition and poverty. And to address these challenges requires human capital and working systems, among others.To achieve this goal, Makerere University has developed a curriculum to train students in plant …

The Debate Over GMOs Is About to Change

May 4th, 2015 / Pacific-Standard

Unlike the vast majority of GMOs on the market, Arctic Apples don’t conceal their GMO identity from consumers. Their genetically engineered, non-browning trait is intended to be a selling point with those who eat them, not just those who grow or distribute them. Read …

The sweet potato naturally genetically engineered by bacteria.

May 4th, 2015 / ars technica

One of the most frequently mentioned issues with GMO foods is a vague concern about bringing genes from distantly related organisms into plants. But an international team of biologists has now found that this has occurred naturally in a major crop plant: the sweet potato. The strains of this crop …

African food demand to rise 60 per cent by 2030

May 4th, 2015 / African Farming

Demand for food in sub-Saharan Africa will rise by 60 per cent by 2030, according to the World Bank. A report by the group, entitled ‘Ending Poverty and Hunger by 2030: An Agenda for the Global Food System’ called for pre-emptive action from governments across the continent to increase agricultural …

Nigeria Gets Biosafety Law

May 4th, 2015 / News Diary, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe reports Nigeria has finally joined the league of biotechnology countries with the signing the National Biosafety Agency Bill into law by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday. The law seeks to domesticate modern biotechnology used by advanced countries as cutting-edge technology to boost economic development.. …

Kenya develops drought-tolerant passion fruits

May 4th, 2015 / African Farming

Kenya has developed three new drought-resistant varieties of passion fruit, it was revealed this week. “The new varieties are drought tolerant and are suited both for processing and the fresh market. They are superior in quality,” observed Joseph Njuguna, a fruit expert at KALRO’s Thika station. Read …

Scientists in Uganda push for law on GMOs

May 4th, 2015 / The East African

B4FA Fellow, Isaac Khisa reports that Ugandan scientists are worried that ongoing research on genetically modified crops may have to be put on hold due to lack of a regulatory framework to guide its production. Andrew Kiggundu, a senior research officer at National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) said that trials …