In the news...

Genetically engineered microbes make their own fertiliser

April 11th, 2017 / Science, US

Industrial fertilizers help feed billions of people every year, but they remain beyond the reach of many of the world’s poorest farmers. Now, researchers have engineered microbes that, when added to soil, make fertilizer on demand, producing plants that grow 1.5 times larger than crops not exposed to the bugs …

Drought resistant, higher-yielding GM rice developed by Japanese researchers

April 10th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science have developed strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations. Published in Plant Biotechnology Journal, the study reports that transgenic rice modified with a gene from the Arabidopsis plant yield more rice than unmodified rice when subjected to …

Empowering rural farmers with technologies for improved yields

April 10th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Smallholder farms dominate African agriculture, and most of them continue to employ traditional cultivation techniques but experts from the Sasakawa Global 2000 ask farmers to employ better farm technologies to solve the problem of food security by looking at the full length of the value chain. …

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 …

Kenyan youth farmers call for adoption of WEMA BT maize

April 6th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Kenyan youth farmers have rallied behind researchers in urging government to allow commencement of National Performance Trials (NPTs) for the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Bt maize. The farmers were speaking during the 2017 agri-biotech forum held at University of Embu, eastern Kenya on March 29-30, 2017.
While expressing his …

New robust oilseed crop can resist global warming

April 5th, 2017 / University of Copenhagen, Denmark

University of Copenhagen and the global player Bayer CropScience have successfully developed a new oilseed crop that is much more resistant to heat, drought and diseases than oilseed rape. The breakthrough is so big that it will feature as cover story of the April issue of Nature Biotechnology, the most …

Why GMO crops need to be embraced

April 5th, 2017 / The Standard, Kenya

In the onset of a new system, persons who have benefited from the older systems often vehemently oppose change.
While this assertion by Niccolo Machiavelli is almost trite, we still painfully await a change of heart by our policy makers. This declaration applies to all fields, where the adoption of genetically …

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 …

How to feed 9.7 billion people? CRISPR gene editing for crops

April 4th, 2017 / Singularityhub.com

It’s no secret that we’re going to struggle to feed the rapidly expanding global population. New genome editing technologies could hold the answer, according to scientists.
The number of humans on this planet is expected to hit 9.7 billion by 2050, and crop demand is predicted to increase by 100 to …

The business case for soil

April 4th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Nobody likes dirty business, but the business world must get to grips with dirt. Soil provides food, fibres and fuels, and regulates water resources and climate. Yet most businesses are unaware that their bottom lines depend on soil; nor are they aware of the risks they face from its degradation. …