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Aflatoxins poisoning health and trade in sub-Saharan Africa

November 23rd, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Aflatoxin contamination is a growing threat to trade, food and health security in sub-Saharan Africa, where smallholder farmers are challenged by food production and now climate change. Aflatoxins are toxic and cancer causing poisons produced by certain green mould fungus that naturally occurs in the soil. The poisons have …

Advancing nutrition and sustainable development

November 23rd, 2015 / International Food Policy Research Institute, US

AKINWUMI ADESINA PRESIDENT, AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK says “The world needs nutrition accountability. Food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition affecting millions of the poor and chil- dren are simply unacceptable. The most important infrastructure is “gray matter infrastructure.” Yet millions of children in Africa grow up without adequate nutrition and become …

CSIR-SARI evaluates herbicides on GM cotton varieties

November 23rd, 2015 / Ghanaweb.com

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) has begun undertaking a confined field research on the performance of Roundup Ready herbicides on cotton varieties being cultivated in the country. Dr Emmanuel Chamba, Principal Investigator at CSIR-SARI, who is the Lead Researcher on the programme, …

New crop products offer hope against disease and drought

November 20th, 2015 / The Sunrise, Uganda

The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has released new food crop products for Cassava, Maize, Sweet Potato and Wheat which offer hope in addressing prevailing disease and drought stresses. Among the new releases are two new Cassava lines NAROCASS1 and NAROCASS2 which the research organisation says are high-yielding, aromatic, …

Sequencing date palm genomes could lead to drought, disease resistant varieties

November 20th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A a team of scientists has found the genetic mutation responsible for the red or yellow colour of the sugary date fruit. The discovery is part of the ongoing 100 dates! gene sequencing project at NYUAD. Thanks to a three-year collaboration between researchers in the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, …

Squash pots and bad bananas

November 19th, 2015 / Huffington Post Green, US

A promising biotech solution (developed by Ugandan scientists for Ugandan farmers) involves the transfer of 2 genes from green peppers into the banana plant to give it resistance to wilt. It has had tremendous success in field trials but is running into opposition from anti-GMO activists who, not unlike Honeycutt, …

Enhancing the biotechnology of crops with microbials

November 19th, 2015 / Country Guide, Canada

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: When the word “biotech” first leapt onto the agri-food scene, there were plenty of proponents and opponents for the science of implanting different genes into corns, soybean and canola genetics. The first Bt hybrids offered yield advantages, and the early days of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans saw …

How modern biotechnology can create 25 000 jobs

November 19th, 2015 / NewsDiary Online, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: Nigeria Federal Government’s (FG) determination to diversify the economy as a result of the challenges in the oil sector has set it to develop immutable strategies that would ensure the creation of, at least, 25,000 jobs annually from the biotechnology sector. A statement by the …

20 years experience of GM crops

November 18th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

In spite of the rapid adoption of GM crops, their use remains contentious. Public opposition and overregulation have become real threats to further developments in modern plant sciences. It is widely believed that GM crops are bad for human health, damage the environment, and hurt smallholder farmers in developing countries, …

Is biotechnology “natural”? Depends how you define “nature”

November 16th, 2015 / Mapping Ignorance

Silvia Román writes “… we are heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “more natural” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. This bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, both …