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Why small grains continue to resist winner takes all commercialisation

November 10th, 2016 / NewsDay, Zimbabwe

From Mali to Zimbabwe and South Africa to Southern Sudan, small grains remain an integral part of mainstream local food systems.
There are many reasons why small grains continue to pack a huge socio-economic punch in many countries.
To revisit and stimulate a frank discussion on the power of small grains, eMKambo …

No GMOs, more greenhouse gas

November 10th, 2016 / AgriNews, US

A global ban on genetically modified crops would raise food prices and add the equivalent of nearly a billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, a study by researchers from Purdue University shows.
Using a model to assess the economic and environmental value of GMO crops, agricultural economists found that …

USAID has launched a five-year sustainable Shea initiative for seven West African states

November 10th, 2016 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: USAID Ghana in partnership with the Global Shea Alliance has launched a five-year sustainable Shea initiative for seven West African countries. The initiative will see to the implementation of promotional and improved sustainable production activities to enhance the Shea industry in West Africa. See …

Biotech crops impact economy positively

November 9th, 2016 / Bizcommunity, South Africa

The Department of Science and Technology Director General, Dr Phil Mjwara, says biotechnology or genetically modified (GM) crops have had a positive economic impact on South Africa.
“It is estimated that the economic gains from biotech crops for South Africa for the period 1998 to 2013 was $1.6bn and $313m for …

Developing country universities beginning to develop GM crops

November 8th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

… It is interesting that large developing countries, like China, India, Brazil and Argentina, and others of less magnitude, like Bangladesh, Philippines and socialist Cuba, as well as 14 African countries, are investing heavily in the development of GM crops with public funds through public agencies or state-companies to solve …

What the New York Times missed with its big GMO story

November 8th, 2016 / Grist, US

… GMOs really aren’t all associated with industrial farming. The disease-resistant papaya is a wonderful innovation. The insect-resistant eggplant seems to be reducing pesticide use in Bangladesh. This banana, this cassava, and this rice could all truly improve the lives of small farmers if those new crops make it over …

Cassava brown streak virus has a crazy fast evolutionary rate

November 7th, 2016 / Computational Biology for Sustainable Agriculture

Cassava is a major staple food for about 800 million people in the tropics and sub-tropical regions of the world. Production of cassava is significantly hampered by cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), which is caused by Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV). The disease …

More than 275 organizations and scientific institutions support the safety of GM crops

November 7th, 2016 / Siquierotransgenicos.cl

Currently there is a social and political controversy about the safety of foods produced from genetically modified (GM) crops, however, in the scientific community there is no dispute or controversy regarding the safety of these crops. To date, more than 2000 scientific studies have assessed the safety of these crops …

Unsung Heroes – reversing neglect

November 7th, 2016 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

The third of our periodic blogs which discuss food security, with a specific focus on how plant genetic research might contribute to addressing the challenge of feeding a fast-growing global population in increasingly uncertain climatic conditions.
Achieving food security is a complex problem that goes far beyond just producing more food. …

Experts slam New York Times hack job on GMOs

November 4th, 2016 / Forbes Magazine, US

Experts are slamming the New York Times for its October 29th article on genetically engineered crops. Titled “Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops,” Danny Hakim’s piece argues that agricultural genetic engineering is a failure because GE crops haven’t reduced pesticide use and haven’t increased yields. The article’s …