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NBBC expert wants Nigerians to embrace agricultural biotechnology

October 27th, 2017 / Worldstage News, Nigeria

Mrs Edel-Quinn Agbaegbu, the Secretary, National Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium (NBBC), has called on Nigerians to embrace the use of agricultural biotechnology to transform agriculture and enhance food security.
Agbaegbu said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that application of modern biotechnology in …

Chinese experts transform African agriculture with education programmes

October 27th, 2017 / Global Times, China

He Wang, a 53-year-old research fellow from the Hunan Fisheries Science Institute, returned once again to Ethiopia on October 16, where she has been teaching fish-farming since 2003.
During all these years in Ethiopia, He helped build the country’s first standardized aquaculture base, mentored more than 3,000 students, and is …

SA scientist’s maize weevil control breakthrough

October 27th, 2017 / Farmers Weekly, South Africa

Maize is the most widely grown grain variety in the world, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. It is a vital staple food for primarily lower income groups, especially in Africa, and is grown on both a subsistence and large commercial scale.
Pests therefore pose a serious threat …

Is this $13 billion food security crisis (the armyworm) an opportunity?

October 26th, 2017 / Motley Fool

A few years ago, engineered biology conglomerate Intrexon (NYSE:XON) acquired a pioneering company called Oxitec. While there are plenty of whacky technology platforms in next-generation biotech, the start-up’s technical niche still caught many people off guard: genetically engineered insects incapable of passing their genes on to the next generation.
The sudden …

Danforth researchers use CRISPR to gene-edit cassava

October 26th, 2017 / St Louis Public Radio, US

To prove that a new-gene editing technology could be used to alter the cassava plant, scientists in the St. Louis suburbs zeroed in on a gene used to process chlorophyll. Before long, they had petri dishes full of seedlings that were white as chalk.
The plan is to use CRISPR — …

Nigeria: Eliminating crude ethanol imports through enhanced cassava production

October 26th, 2017 / Faces International

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe reports:
Ethanol is also produced from cassava and is used as fuel, alcoholic beverages, perfumes, cosmetics, medicaments, etc.
Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava but the nation’s annual local demand of ethanol is between 300 and 400 million litres. The country only meets up with three percent …

Disease resistant potato field tests show positive results

October 25th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Ugandan scientists are positive that GM potatoes will be commercially available in their country in 2020.
According to Dr. Alex Barekye, Director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute, research on disease resistant potato is underway. So far, three trials of Victoria potato variety have been conducted and the performance of the …

Revolutionising the way we build food and nutrition security in Africa

October 25th, 2017 / BizCommunity

Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as “orphan crops” shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research on these crops mainly to …

‘Supercharging’ rice with maize gene increases yields by 50 per cent

October 25th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

To improve photosynthesis in rice and increase crop yields, scientists working on the Oxford University-led C4 Rice Project have, by introducing a single maize gene to the plant, moved towards ‘supercharging’ rice to the level of more efficient crops.
Rice uses the C3 photosynthetic pathway, which in hot, dry environments is …

As Africa’s need for food grows, Mali’s rice turnaround shows a way forward

October 23rd, 2017 / Reuters

In 2008, as food prices rose around the world, riots broke out in West Africa, and Mali’s government stepped in.
It quickly launched an initiative to subsidise purchases of good-quality certified rice seed, as well as fertilisers, for farmers, in an effort to cut reliance on rice imports and grow more …