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Protecting plants’ genetic resources for agriculture

December 18th, 2015 / The Namibian

Efforts are afoot to conserve and sustainably use plants as genetic resources for food and agriculture in Namibia. The Namibian National Strategic Action Plan for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (NNSAP-PGRFA) was recently developed under the guidance of the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre (GRTC) and a two-day …

‘Let’s pool knowledge together on biotechnology’

December 17th, 2015 / GhanaWeb.com

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Mahama Ayariga has called on the proponents and sceptics of biotechnology to pool their knowledge together to achieve the collective goal of food security and food sovereignty. “If our common goal is to grow African agriculture then fora such as we are …

Growing coffee varieties resistant to CWD

December 17th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farmer Joseph Musisi Ssebatta talks to B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, about his CWD-resistant coffee nursery, “We expected that by 2015 the country (Uganda) would be exporting at least 4.5 million 60-kilogram-bags which it used to export long ago but unfortunately this has not yet happened mainly due to the coffee …

The crop conundrum

December 16th, 2015 / Nature, UK

European Commission directive on releasing GM organisms into the environment covers field trials and cultivation defines GM organisms as having alterations that cannot occur naturally, which were made by genetic engineering. What is unclear is how this relates to experiments in which researchers introduce foreign DNA to direct a precise …

Africa closer to a cure for banana disease

December 15th, 2015 / Inter Press Service

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) headquartered in Ibadan, Nigeria in partnership with the National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda are close to a breakthrough after more than eight years researching solutions to BXW.In one Ugandan dialect, ‘kiwotoka’, describes the steamed look of banana plants affected …

A new breed of edits

December 14th, 2015 / Nature, UK

Genome editing allows much smaller changes to be made to DNA compared with conventional genetic engineering. In terms of agriculture, this might win over public and regulator opinion. Genome editing offers both subtlety and speed, wherever in the genome a researcher wants to target. The speed comes from the technologies’ …

The genetic revolution could curb world hunger and pesticide use

December 10th, 2015 / Huffington Post

Over the past year or so, researchers around the world have begun using a new gene-editing technique that has the potential to help stop world hunger, end the use of pesticides and improve our health. CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to change, delete or replace DNA more easily than ever before. Theoretically, …

Study: Crop biotechnology essential to feeding more people on same arable land

December 8th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project

Looking at trends from large sets of data on population, resources and food production shows there are good reasons to be optimistic about our ability to meet the food requirements of the projected 9-10 billion people on our planet by the middle of this century. It also appears we are …

Earth has lost a third of arable land in past 40 years, scientists say

December 7th, 2015 / The Guardian, UK

The world has lost a third of its arable land due to erosion or pollution in the past 40 years, with potentially disastrous consequences as global demand for food soars, scientists have warned. New research has calculated that nearly 33% of the world’s adequate or high-quality food-producing land has been …

University-made Roundup Ready seeds ready for market

December 1st, 2015 / Harvet Public Media, US

After the patent on one of the most popular versions of genetically engineered soybeans expired this year, U.S. universities are creating new generic GMO soybean varieties, many of which are designed to guard against specific, local pests. Ninety percent of soybean seeds planted in the U.S. are genetically engineered …