In the news...

Uganda’s researchers ready to taste test their GMO vitamin A-enriched banana

March 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
The East African cooking banana is one of the major food crops eaten by the people living in central Uganda.
In the recent years, the plant has been hit by a number of pests and diseases, including nematodes, black sigatoka and banana bacterial wilt. To combat …

Rwanda: new banana variety to enhance productivity

February 21st, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

A new variety of highly productive banana plants will be distributed to farmers starting next month in a bid to improve banana production and fight disease in one of the priority crops in the country.
The move, under the government’s seven year programme which will come to an end in 2024, …

Mozambique: battling to save the world’s bananas

February 1st, 2018 / BBC, UK

Could the banana, the world’s most exported fruit and the source of nutrients for millions of people, be at risk of extinction?
Visiting the Matanuska banana plantation is not easy these days. After a two-hour drive from the nearest city in northern Mozambique, visitors who make it to the farm are …

The banana as we know it is dying … again

January 5th, 2018 / Discover Magazine, US

The bananas your grandparents ate were different than the ones you eat today. And the bananas your grandchildren know will probably be entirely different as well.
For the moment, we are in the age of the Cavendish, a banana cultivar that accounts for 99 percent of imports to the Western world. …

Our GM bananas are safe – Kawanda breeders

December 22nd, 2017 / New Vision, Uganda

Jerome Kubiriba, the team leader, National Banana Research Programme at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories, Kawanda has said that banana scientists at the institute will be the first to taste the GM bananas being developed at the institute.
Speaking to New Vision at the Institute recently Kuburiba said being the first …

The world’s top banana is doomed and nobody can find a repllacement

December 20th, 2017 / Wall Street Journal, US

In June, a team of European researchers traveled to Papua New Guinea on a mission of global significance. They came to search for the Giant Banana plant.
The scientists traveled through the jungles of the South Pacific nation, by car and on foot, accompanied by two armed guards. They were tantalized …

Can a GM banana solve Uganda’s hunger crisis?

December 13th, 2017 / Guardian, UK

After an afternoon drizzle, Ephraim Muhereza carefully scouts his three-acre banana plantation in Gayaza, Wakiso district, plucking male buds from trees. This will stop his plants from catching the notorious banana bacterial wilt, which has destroyed many farms in Uganda.
“We have been told that to reduce the spread of the …

GM banana shows promise against deadly fungus strain

November 20th, 2017 / Science, US

A field trial in Australia has shown that genetically modified banana trees can resist the deadly fungus that causes Panama disease, which has devastated banana crops in Asia, Africa, and Australia and is a major threat for banana growers in the Americas. The transgenic plants might reach some farmers in …

Biosafety law a red card to pests, says pro-biotech campaigner

October 11th, 2017 / Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports:
The newly enacted Biosafety Act 2017 is a Red Card to some of the most menacing crop pests and diseases that are currently ravaging hundreds of farms owned by smallholder farmers across Uganda, leading to food insecurity and economic instability, according to one pro-GMO campaigner.
Arthur Makara, …

Kenya approves field trials for disease-resistant GMO bananas

September 26th, 2017 / Genetic literacy Project, US

The National Biosafety Authority has approved field tests for genetically modified bananas, moving the country closer to accepting growing and consumption of GMO foods.
The authority…says the approval for controlled field tests was granted on November 7 last year, paving the way for the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation to …