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Cassava breeding hasn’t improved photosynthesis or yield potential

May 16th, 2018 / University of Illinois, US

Video: University of Illinois researchers analyzed four cassava cultivars preferred by African farmers and found unimproved varieties photosynthesize better than varieties selected for improved pest and disease resistance. …

Protecting cassava from disease? There’s an app for that

May 16th, 2018 / Scientific American

An image-recognition smartphone app uses AI to help farmers in sub-Saharan Africa identify up to five different diseases.
Cassava is one of the developing world’s most important crops. Its starchy roots and leaves are a staple food for more than 500 million people in Africa each day. And Africa produces half …

How collaboration can help grow and transform agriculture in Africa

May 16th, 2018 / The Conversation

It’s been four years since African leaders met in Equatorial Guinea to commit themselves to boosting agricultural growth across the continent. This is an important way to create real change in Africa. During the gathering, all the African Union’s heads of state signed the Malabo Declaration. It offered a blueprint …

The debate persists over GMO foods

May 15th, 2018 / Medium.com

The bottom line: Consumers concerned about the growing use of GMOs in the foods they depend on might consider taking a more nuanced approach than blanket opposition. Rather than wholesale rejection, take some time to learn about how genetic engineering works and the benefits it can offer now and in …

New plant breeding techniques will ensure food quality and quantity

May 15th, 2018 / Euractiv

The new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) are a major opportunity to move toward sustainable agriculture and simultaneously ensure food quality for EU consumers, MEP Paolo De Castro told EURACTIV.com.
According to De Castro (S&D), the EU should embrace innovation more and more in order to boost food production and cut the …

Uganda’s biggest agricultural problems

May 15th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, writes:
Agriculture is the science of growing crops and rearing animals for food and income.
The sector, which is our biggest employer, is however faced with a number of challenges that need immediate attention.
They range from climate change, incurable crop diseases, a fast growing population, land …

Report stresses agriculture’s significance In transforming African economy

May 14th, 2018 / New Business Ethiopia

A new report, entitled, Agriculture, Powering Africa’s Economic Transformation’, by the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) – founded by former ECA Executive Secretary – Dr. K.Y. Amoako, stresses the significant role agriculture plays in transforming African economy.
“Agriculture is the quintessential sector for the transformation of the African continent and …

How do corporations perceive their role in the GMO debate?

May 14th, 2018 / Devex.com

Smack at the center of the debate over genetically modified organisms and their role in developing countries are large corporations. Bayer, BASF, Dow AgroScience, DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto, and Syngenta all sell GMO seed and associated products, including herbicides, as well as a range of non-GMO seed and products supporting agricultural …

Nigerian regulator says anti-GMO sentiments won’t stop GM crops

May 13th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Nigeria’s top biotechnology regulator said his agency won’t be cowed by the anti-GMO activism that has picked up steam as two GM crops near approval.
Dr. Rufus Ebegba, director-general of the National Biosafety Development Agency (NBMA), said his agency will not be bullied or blackmailed by sentiments, speculations or hearsay that …

‘Precision plant breeding’ better describes crop biotechnology than misused ‘GMO’ term

May 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

GMO is now a widely recognized, often misused and misunderstood term. It’s used extensively by media and marketers alike. We can’t abandon it, but we can shift to clearer, all-encompassing terminology which covers all the latest advances.
No matter the type of plant breeding used over the last 10,000 years, the …