In the news...

CRISPR-edited rice plants produce major boost in grain yield

May 29th, 2018 / Purdue Agricultural News

A team of scientists from Purdue University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has used CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology to develop a variety of rice that produces 25-31 percent more grain and would have been virtually impossible to create through traditional breeding methods.
The team, led by Jian-Kang Zhu, a distinguished professor …

Mozambique is ready for GMO crops

May 29th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

“People in Mozambique are not worried about GMOs,” Rose Moreira, who works with National Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique, told the Alliance for Science. “They are willing to have very good products from industry, commerce and technology. People are not looking at what they have on the shelves. They …

GMO Golden Bananas could help combat vitamin A deficiency

May 29th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project/Frontiers in Plant Science

A project known as Banana21 commenced in 2005 to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies in Uganda and surrounding countries through the generation of farmer- and consumer-acceptable edible bananas with significantly increased fruit levels of PVA and iron. A genetic modification approach was adopted since bananas are recalcitrant to conventional breeding.
Based on the …

Pink pineapples and healthy fries: The new GM foods made for you

May 28th, 2018 / New Scientist, UK

From health benefits to increased flavour and longer shelf-life, discover the new generation of GM foods designed with the consumer in mind. Read …

CTA’s Central African cassava project to benefit 10,000 smallholder farmers

May 28th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) has launched a new project in Kinshasa to explore cassava’s economic potential in agricultural value chains in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Cameroon.
According to CTA, a number of 10 cassava cooperatives will be targeted with a total membership of …

Supporting a brooding hen

May 28th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Most African homes keep local chickens by free range system. They multiply naturally with hardly any input from the members of the household besides periodic cleaning of the room where the chickens go to roost at night.
Chickens are a good source of animal protein in …

Obasanjo wants biotechnology to end hunger globally

May 25th, 2018 / Guardian, Nigeria

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has canvassed the adoption of biotechnology in agriculture to end hunger across the world.
“If agricultural yields remains the same, we would need to cultivate more than double the present amount of land to feed that population. That is 82 per cent of our total land area …

New menacing cassava pest identified in West and Central Africa

May 25th, 2018 / African Science News

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
Originating from the tropical regions of the Americas the fall armyworm (FAW) adult has a remarkable capacity for long distance migration and high female fertility. Its crop-destroying caterpillars can cause serious damage to maize but also to …

Musa project develops hybrids of local Tanzanian cooking banana “Mchare”

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

The banana breeding team at IITA in partnership with the national research team in Tanzania, has developed hybrids of one of the most popular cooking bananas in Tanzania and part of the East African Highland cooking banana called “Mchare.” These hybrids were bred with disease-resistant wild bananas and are high …

New pest identified in West and Central Africa!

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
This introduced second armyworm species from the Americas was first found in cassava fields in south-eastern Nigeria in December 2016, reported Dr Georg Goergen, Entomologist/Biocontrol Specialist and Head of IITA’s Biodiversity Center in Bénin. Its presence was …