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Revolutionizing breeding programmes

March 27th, 2018 / Leadership, Nigeria

Cassava is one of the most important staple crops in sub-Saharan Africa, yet it stands out from other crops in many ways.
In some ways, cassava may seem an unlikely focus for a flagship project: typically considered a “poor man’s crop” and under-researched, it is the fourth most consumed staple in …

Agri-tech is transforming Africa’s agricultural industry

March 21st, 2018 / Aid and International Aid Forum

Agriculture has a significant role in Africa as it employs 65% of the work force and contributes 32% of GDP, according to the World Bank.
Similarly, approximately 70% of Africa’s population depend directly on agriculture for their livelihood.
However, the African agricultural industry is currently facing a number of problems with low …

The fuss about biotechnology: Why?

March 19th, 2018 / The Nigerian Voice

Science, technological innovation and a fundamental understanding of nature are among the major drivers of progress. Today’s advances in the treatment of human disease have been made possible by the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and the DNA double-helix structure by Watson and Crick in 1953. These …

Vitamin A-biofortified maize: exploiting genetic native variation for nutrient enrichment

March 16th, 2018 / Crop Trust, Germany

Nutrition trials in countries administering Vitamin A capsules resulted on average in a 24% reduction in child mortality. By breeding staple crops with higher amounts of Vitamin A, the supply of Vitamin A in our food sources can be sustainably increased.
Maize provides approximately 30% of the total calories of more …

Bt Corn associated with higher yields, less insecticide use in neighboring fields

March 16th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In 1996, scientists introduced a type of transgenic maize with built-in protection against pests, such as the European corn borer, using genes derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that code for proteins toxic to some insects but harmless to humans. Since then, a host of studies have quantified the benefits—in …

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 …

Can Oxitec’s genetically engineered insects combat fall armyworm crop damage and famine in Africa?

March 14th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Fall armyworm is a moth larvae that is incredibly destructive. It causes widespread crop losses in the Americas and now has been found in Africa. This pest consumes everything in its path, and can travel many miles on the wind. It is believed that this organism could cause widespread famine …

Distant cousins of domesticated crops harbor traits to feed a hungry planet

March 13th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Recently, scientists found that more frequent flooding caused by storm and rainfall along with erratic temperature are responsible for the resurgence of phytophthora blight, a devastating disease that weakens pigeonpea stems irrespective of soil types and cropping patterns. With climate change, new invasive pests and changes in the farming landscape, …

China to deepen agricultural cooperation with Africa

March 13th, 2018 / People's Daily, China

China is willing to share its experience in managing agriculture and rural systems with African countries through multiple ways, and further deepen cooperation with them, Chinese Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu vowed.
A Chinese agricultural expert passes on farming technologies to farmers in Burundi, in an aid-Burundi demonstration rice field.
The country …

Kenya developing animal biotech regulatory guidelines

March 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Kenya could soon begin using genetically modified (GM) animals in research as the country’s biosafety authority is set to finalize draft guidelines on regulation of contained use of transgenic animals. Speaking at a workshop on regulation of GM animals in Kenya, acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Authority …