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Introduce students to biotechnology early

October 16th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow MichaelSsali who has often argued that the school is the best place to introduce agricultural skills to young people through practical work in the school garden, writes:
Perhaps due to lack of correct information about the many benefits of agricultural biotechnology, it has taken so long for Ugandan policy …

Why Kenya should shift to genetically modified maize

October 15th, 2018 / CropNuts

The use of Bt maize is not a silver-bullet solution to at our food insecurity challenges, but has potential to contribute towards reduced suffering of the food deficits especially due to maize. By deploying Genetically Modified Maize products, Kenya has the potential of solving food insecurity problems. KALRO has done …

Biosafety: A sure path to sustainable economic development

October 15th, 2018 / NAIJ.com

World over there is no Biosafety Agency created with an aim to stop the practice of modern Biotechnology or GMOs but rather these Agencies are created to help it thrive in a positive way by harnessing their potentials for farmers and the Agricultural sector for economic growth and Nigeria should …

Women, youth must be at the heart of food security agenda for a hunger-free nation

October 15th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Over the last five years, the rate of rural-urban migration among the youth has reached unprecedented levels with policy makers warning that if allowed to persist, it could hit epidemic proportions with irreversible impacts.
With eight out every 10 unemployed Kenyans being young person of between 18 and 34 years, the …

Vitamin A-rich bananas offer new hope to address vitamin A deficiency

October 12th, 2018 / CGIAR

Researchers in East Africa are introducing banana varieties from across the world to address severe vitamin A deficiency. Taste tests help to identify and fast track new varieties that consumers prefer.
Vitamin A deficiency is high in the East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC and Kenya, ranging from …

Detoxifying the grass pea – a plant with the poisonous past

October 12th, 2018 / John Innes Centra

Grass pea, the crop with the curse, is set for a major change in reputation thousands of years after it was first cultivated.
The transformation becomes a possibility after researchers at John Innes Centre, along with colleagues in Ethiopia and Kenya, were awarded £1.2m from BBSRC under the Global Challenges Research …

Our food system is at risk of crossing ‘environmental limits’ – here’s how to ease the pressure

October 12th, 2018 / The Conversation

The global food system has a lot to answer for. It is a major driver of climate change, thanks to everything from deforestation to cows burping. Food production also transforms biodiverse landscapes into fields inhabited by a single crop or animal. It depletes valuable freshwater resources, and even pollutes ecosystems …

Huge changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying Earth’s ability to feed its population

October 11th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

Huge reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment. In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and pulses.
The research also finds that …

‘High-yield’ farming costs the environment less than previously thought – and could help spare habitats

October 11th, 2018 / University of Cambridge

New findings suggest that more intensive agriculture might be the “least bad” option for feeding the world while saving its species – provided use of such “land-efficient” systems prevents further conversion of wilderness to farmland.
“Our results suggest that high-yield farming could be harnessed to meet the growing demand for food …

Why Ugandan banana breeders say it’s critical to add genetic engineering to their toolbox

October 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Ugandan researchers have been successful at developing robust hybrid bananas through conventional breeding techniques. Yet they see a strong need to adopt GM varieties of the fruit that is so critical to the nation.
They argue that using conventional breeding to develop hybrid cooking bananas is a …