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Africa still hesitant to adapt agricultural biotech

June 23rd, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Lack of funding, loss of trained technical expertise, slow development of the biotechnology sector, lack of political will and the issue of public acceptance brought by activism are the main challenges facing many African countries especially, East African countries on biotechnology and bio-safety.
A three-day workshop held in Mwanza Region, organized …

Please say no to the term ‘GMO’

June 12th, 2017 / AGDaily

In science and medicine the terminology applied can be the difference between life and death, success and failure. Words have precise meanings, and a productive dialogue in the sciences requires adherence to a common set of mutually recognized terms. Shared meaning is like a verbal handshake that ensures a positive …

A quick and coordinated regional response to fall armyworm required

June 5th, 2017 / CGIAR/CIMMYT

The recent appearance of the fall armyworm, an insect-pest, which causes damage to more than 80 crop species in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, poses a serious challenge and significant risk to the region’s food security.
In a recent interview, Dr B.M. Prasanna, director of the Global Maize Program, CIMMYT and …

Kenyan scientists warn of health risk on animal antibiotics use

April 21st, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has warned that increased use of antibiotics to boost growth of animals is endangering the health of meat consumers.
Kemri’s Director for Microbiology Research Sam Kariuki on Thursday said that 70 per cent of antibiotics sold over the counter are being used to boost animal …

Parliamentary journalists support dialogue on the biotech and biosafety bill passage in UGANDA

April 6th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Journalists ascribed to the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA), and members of the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance (UAA) have expressed their willingness to help readers and listeners to better understand biotechnology research work done in Uganda and the need for biosafety regulation. This was during a sensitization seminar on Biotechnology and …

The challenge ahead: harnessing gene editing to sustainable agriculture

April 5th, 2017 / Bizcommunity.com

The role of genetic engineering in agriculture and food has generated enormous interest and controversies, with a large-scale embrace by some nations and wholesale bans by others. Many studies have been done and much research remains to be done on the impact genetically modified organisms (GMO) can have on broader …

Effective biosecurity key to food security in Africa

April 4th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Poor capacity in biosecurity remains a major obstacle to agricultural trade in Africa and limits farmers’ incomes and food security, a meeting has heard.
The 4th Africa Plant Biosecurity Network workshop held in Zambia on 27 February-3 March noted that effective biosecurity system could boost regional and international trade in agricultural …

Glyphosate: dangerous chemical or anti-GMO bogeyman?

March 17th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

No other chemical in modern agriculture has attracted as much scrutiny and criticism as glyphosate. The herbicide–widely sold generically but also under the trade name of Roundup, and originally patented by Monsanto–has been used in home gardens and by farmers for decades. It has played a key role in the …

Environmentalists urged to embrace biotechnology to improve food security

March 14th, 2017 / B4FA Fellow, Hope Mafaranga

B4FA Fellow, Hope Mafaranga reports: The Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Kare Chawicha, called on environmentalists to embrace biotechnology as one way of mitigating climate change. His comments came when he opened a communication training workshop on biotechnology and biosafety for media practitioners from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, …

Small molecule could have big future in food security

March 13th, 2017 / University of Arizona, US

Researchers at the University of Arizona have found a promising way to prevent the loss of millions of tons of crops to a fungus each year, offering the potential to dramatically improve food security, especially in developing countries. The team’s approach uses transgenic corn plants that produce small RNA molecules …