In the news...

Increasing food production

January 18th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Last year the number of food insecure people in Africa rose from 220 million to 224million.
In its Regional Overview report the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) attributed the unfortunate rise to the changing weather patterns that caused poor harvests, loss of livestock, civil conflicts, and …

Rising temperatures put Africa’s rice production at risk

January 18th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

A new modelling study published today warns that the dry-season irrigated rice in West Africa’s Sahel region has reached the critical threshold of 37 degrees Celsius – the tipping point. Further temperature rise could devastate rice yields in this region due to decreasing photosynthesis at high temperatures.
This is an ominous …

Rwanda begins process of legalizing GMO crops

January 17th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has drafted a law governing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Rwanda which will soon be forwarded to the Rwanda Law Reform Commission for review.
The draft bill was prepared along with the National Biosafety Framework, biosafety policy and regulations according to officials.
The objective of the legislation …

Official: One million farmers grow bio-fortified crops in Nigeria

January 17th, 2018 / BizCommunity Nigeria

Dr Paul Ilona, the country manager of Harvestplus, an international agriculture organisation, says over one million smallholder farmers grow bio-fortified food crops in Nigeria. Ilona disclosed this in Ibadan on Tuesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that no fewer than six million people consumed …

Role of biotechnology in ensuring food security, sustainable agriculture

January 12th, 2018 / Nigerian Observer

By most accounts, low agricultural production is one of the prevailing factors behind the high incidence of poverty and food insecurity across the world.
However, concerned observers note that most poor and food insecure people in the world live in developing countries and rural areas.
They say that one of the most …

Australia and New Zealand releases approval report for food derived from Provitamin A Rice

January 11th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Food derived from Provitamin A rice line GR2E can be sold in Australia and New Zealand. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) released the approval report for Application A1138 submitted by the International Rice Research Institute seeking approval for food derived from rice line GR2E, genetically modified (GM) to produce …

Scientists use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to improve drought and salt tolerance in rice

January 11th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The ∆ 1 -pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS) is the rate-limiting enzyme in proline (Pro) synthesis and is involved in drought and salt stress tolerance in plants. An OsP5CS gene was isolated from a stress-treated commercial rice variety, BC15.
The length of rice OsP5CS was 2173 nucleotides, containing an ORF encoding for …

Introducing groundnut varieties more tolerant to Rosette disease in Tanzania

January 9th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Groundnut researchers are striving to introduce superior options to a popular early-maturing groundnut variety, Pendo (ICGMS 33), in Tanzania. Although Pendo has many strengths compared to other varieties, it is highly susceptible to rosette disease. Efforts are on, under the Tropical Legumes III project, to develop and disseminate varieties that …

Ethiopian scientist impacting lives of small-scale farmers

January 8th, 2018 / AfricanNews.com

Dr. Segenet Kelemu according to Gates, having witnessed the damage locusts wreak in rural Ethiopia, aspired to study agriculture and today “used the power of science to find ways to help farmers grow more food and earn more income.”
In the latest installment of his ‘Heroes in the Field’ series, philanthropist …

A peace plan for resolving GMO conflict

January 8th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Five years ago, environmentalist Mark Lynas stood before the UK Oxford Farming Conference and offered a public apology for his earlier anti-GMO activism. In the years since, he’s devoted himself pretty much full time to the GM issue, visiting numerous countries in Africa and Asia and meeting farmers, scientists, activists …