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Nigerian FG commences field trials on GMO crops

October 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The Federal Government has granted permits for confined field trials on genetically modified maize, rice, cassava, sorghum and cowpea to ascertain ability to resist insect attack in the country.
Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agriculture Biotechnology (OFAB), Dr. Rose Gidado, told The Guardian that the permits were granted after in-depth …

Pioneering biologists create a new crop through genome editing

October 3rd, 2018 / Phys.org

Crops such as wheat and maize have undergone a breeding process lasting thousands of years, in the course of which mankind has gradually modified the properties of wild plants into highly cultivated variants. One motive was higher yields. A side effect of this breeding has been a reduction in genetic …

IRRI opens regional office in Africa

October 3rd, 2018 / World-Grain.com

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) opened a new regional office in Nairobi to help Africa boost rice productivity and self-sufficiency.
The office was inaugurated by Professor Hamadi Boga, Principal Secretary, Kenyan State Department of Agriculture Research, who was represented by Margaret Makelo; Jim Godfrey, chairman of the board of trustees and …

CRISPR tames the wild ground cherry

October 2nd, 2018 / Boyce Thompson Institute

The groundcherry (Physalis pruinosa) is approximately the same size as a cherry tomato, but with a much sweeter flavor. The tropical-tasting fruit is also a powerhouse in terms of nutritional value. Packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin B, beta-carotene, phytosterols, and antioxidants, plus anti-inflammatory and medicinal properties, this tiny fruit might just …

African Development Bank seeks partnerships to lift 1 billion people out of hunger globally

September 27th, 2018 / ReliefWeb

“We must not get carried away: we are not winning the war against global hunger.”
The African Development Bank called on global partners to join hands to lift one billion people worldwide out of hunger and said it was leading the way by investing US$24 billion in African agriculture over the …

Ministry of Agriculture developing new technology to offer quality potato seeds

September 27th, 2018 / FarmBiz Africa

The (Kenyan) Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Hygrotech, a private company is developing a new technology which will enable farmers get high quality potato seeds, doing away with reliance on tubers seeds.
According to the ministry’s press release on the current national food security situation October last year, production of …

Has Uganda paid a price for not embracing GMOs, biotechnology?

September 27th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes:
It has been more than two decades since the commercial introduction of GMO crops. They have delivered a range of benefits – including stronger yields, better weed control and the ability to fight off pests – to the farmers in the nations that have adopted them.
Uganda …

Hybrid maize resists lethal necrosis

September 26th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The disease can destroy entire harvests and is thus a severe food security risk.
A centralised maize lethal necrosis disease screening facility established in Naivasha five years ago has released 15 disease-resistant hybrid maize varieties in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
After screening more than 150,000 maize germplasms, the team validated genomic regions …

GMO controversy is a political debate, not a food safety issue, farmers say

September 25th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

According to a recent article in the New York Times, most consumers don’t know or realize that for decades they have been consuming foods that have been developed through bioengineering including crossbreeding, irradiating, and chemically inducing gene mutations to achieve desired characteristics. Read …

Gene-edited cassava could help millions of farmers

September 24th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Based on the breathless coverage of CRISPR genome editing technology thus far—the famed patent dispute, the overhyped promises of designer babies, the fears of urban biohackers gone mad—you’d be forgiven for thinking that CRISPR is a first-world solution for first-world problems. Indeed, the first CRISPR product to make it out …