In the news...

Can media help to enhance the adoption of GMOs in Africa?

March 16th, 2018 / USJA, Uganda

COMESA is the only Regional Economic Community (REC) that has a policy on biotechnology and biosafety, taking into account the sovereign rights of the member states. COMESA has developed a plan to strengthen public awareness and communication on GMOs; one of the strategies aims to enhance reporting skills in science …

Tanzania: New improved high-iron and zinc beans released

March 15th, 2018 / Sweet Potato Knowledge Portal

The high-iron beans are a special type of conventionally bred biofortified beans that contain high levels of iron and zinc. Biofortification enhances the nutritional value of staple food crops by increasing the density of vitamins and minerals in a crop through either conventional plant breeding, agronomic practices or biotechnology. Examples …

What is biodiversity and why does it matter to us?

March 15th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

The air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat all rely on biodiversity, but right now it is in crisis – because of us. What does this mean for our future and can we stop it? Read more …

Specialty training institutes can help African youth become the future of agriculture

March 14th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

For the agricultural revolution to happen, investment in the practical skills set of youth in the field of agriculture through dedicated training at specialized technical institutes is a must.
Agricultural training institutes can provide practical knowledge and help youth put their creativity, love for technology and innovation to use. Evidence from …

Contributions of biotechnology to meeting future food and environmental security needs

March 14th, 2018 / The EuroBiotech Journa

Biotechnology, including genetic modifications, can play a vital role in helping to meet future food and environmental security needs for our growing population. The nature and use of biotechnology crops are described and related to aspects of food security. Biotechnological applications for food and animal feed are described, together with …

CRISPR & Novel Breeding Techniques (NBTs) related in agriculture

March 14th, 2018 / AgroPages.com

An Interview with Alison Van Eenennaam, Animal Biotechnology & Genomics Extension Specialist from University of California.
“Gene editing will not replace conventional breeding programs, but rather will work synergistically with conventional tools”
What is the current status and direction of CRISPR & NBTs application in agriculture?
As with all breeding methods they …

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 …

Challenges facing Ugandan agriculture

March 12th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Quite often our leaders talk about farming as the foundation of the country’s economy and it is strongly tied to poverty reduction.
The sector employs about 75 per cent of the country’s population, contributes about 20 per cent of the GDP and about 48 per cent of …

Seed Co introduces new maize variety tolerant to lethal necrosis disease

March 12th, 2018 / Farmbiz Africa

Seed Co, a company that develops and markets certified crop seeds, mainly hybrid maize seed has introduced a new maize variety that is tolerant to the maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND).
“The new maize variety KATEH 01 was developed over a period of three years since 2016 by Seed Co in …

To plant or not to plant – the debate over GM seeds

March 9th, 2018 / Dispatch, Uganda

The current debate about the use of genetically-modified seeds in Uganda might determine Africa’s agricultural future.
John Ssembajjwe, a long-time maize farmer in the Wakiso and Masaka districts, walks around his two-acre farm in Sissa and recalls the time he almost broke down in tears after his crop was scorched by …