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Farmers need new knowledge all the time

September 30th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: Empowering smallholder farmers to become more productive should be more than mere provision of free seed and planting material—a practice that is apparently going across the country.
New challenges keep cropping up as time passes. With our rapidly increasing population, the small plots on which our …

Former anti-GMO campaigner Mark Lynas: Green movement should support crop biotech

September 30th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Former anti-GMO campaigner Mark Lynas discusses what changed his mind about GMOs. He addresses why the green movement is so threatened by GMOs and why the environmental movement should be an ally in promoting biotech that reduce environmental impacts of agriculture. See …

Discovery may benefit farmers worldwide

September 28th, 2016 / Phys.org

University of Guelph plant scientists have shown for the first time how an ancient crop teams up with a beneficial microbe to protect against a devastating fungal infection, a discovery that may benefit millions of subsistence farmers and livestock in developing countries.
The M6 microbe lives in the roots of finger …

Breakthrough in salt-tolerance in plants research

September 28th, 2016 / University of Adelaide, Australia

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 University’s …

Pending global seed monopolies could threaten small-scale African farmers

September 28th, 2016 / AFK Insider, US

Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming the battleground of the world’s giant seed companies, which are in the process of negotiating a series of corporate consolidations that could leave almost 60 percent of the world’s seeds in the control of three firms, according to a report in The Guardian.
Until recently, six or …

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 …

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 …