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Talking about genetically modified crops in Uganda – my experience

June 6th, 2016 / Cornell Alliance for Science, US

Patricia Nanteza writes: “We are our own public relations officers. We should at all times treat and speak well of ourselves. We should never do the haters work for them.” If I am given the chance, I think I can disarm an army by simply talking to and with them. …

Researchers identify critical factors in maize and wheat drought vulnerability

June 2nd, 2016 / ISAAA, US

A team of researchers from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis led by Lixin Wang has identified critical information about the environmental variables and agronomic factors that determine the vulnerability of maize and wheat production to drought.Read …

Project develops first ever rice hybrids for farmers in Africa

June 2nd, 2016 / Elkurebedotcom, Nigeria

Rice farmers in Africa are set to dramatically increase their productivity with the new hybrid varieties that are capable of yielding up to 7 tonnes per hectare, courtesy of a public private partnership, Breeding by Design Project. According to a release issued by the head of Communications and Partnerships …

Farmers must lead GM debate

May 27th, 2016 / The Scottish Farmer

“Politicians should provide leadership, but in the case of GM they are letting themselves be led by public opinion. Farmers are really at the sharp end of this, trying to produce crops under the pressures of climate, disease and pests. I would like to see farmers give the public …

Disease resistant GMOs could address climate change and save billions

May 5th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Treating disease is so vital to the future of agriculture that several scientists set up a non-profit called 2Blades to help advance work on plant pathogens and disease resistance. The group’s goal is to spur promising scientific work on plant disease resistance, move it out of the lab and …

How farmer-philanthropist Howard Buffett is planting hope in Africa

May 5th, 2016 / PBS Newshour, US

Calestous Juma says:”Howard Buffett is someone who has brought his own personal experience and integrity to probably one of the world’s largest and critical challenges, which is being able to generate food security for a billion people. And I think that takes incredible courage and commitment to be able …

‘If field trials of GM crops were encouraged, we would have drought-resistant varieties by now’

May 3rd, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Criticising the moratorium on field tests for genetically modified (GM) crops eminent agricultural scientist Dr. M. Mahadevappa opined that such a move was detrimental for the farming sector. “If the field trials of GM crops were encouraged, scientists would have come out with drought-resistant varieties by now,” he said. …

ISAAA 2015 report puts Uganda in special position

May 3rd, 2016 / New Vision, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana reports: Uganda is the only country in Africa doing biotech crops Confined Field Trials (CFT) with no Biosafety law in place. This precarious position is contained in a recent report released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) an organization that …

Researchers evolve new toxin to target agricultural pests

April 30th, 2016 / Arstechnica, UK

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops have been one of the most successful applications of genetic engineering in agriculture. The crops carry a gene that encodes a bacterial protein that kills insects that ingest it. While it’s possible to spray crops with the Bt toxin instead, farms that rely on Bt …

Global wheat breeding returns billions in benefits but stable financing remains elusive

April 29th, 2016 / World Bank, US

For 45 years, world-class scientists from two research centers of CGIAR – the world’s only global research system that focuses on the crops of most importance to poor farmers in developing countries – have battled the odds to provide wheat and nourish the world’s growing population. Their innovations have …