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Gene editing: building better blueprints, one gene at a time

June 20th, 2018 / LinkedIn

Ever since its introduction to the world over five years ago, a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 has been the scientific breakthrough that everyone is talking about. And while it’s the one generating the most buzz, CRISPR is just one of the gene-editing tools that scientists have been excitedly exploring over …

Gene editing, GMOs, and fear-based marketing

June 20th, 2018 / ITIF

After decades of special interest groups raising unwarranted fears and misrepresenting every aspect of so-called “GMOs”, opponents of innovation in plant and animal breeding are adding a new under-the-bed-monster to the mythical menagerie. This one is called “gene editing” aka “GE,” and it seems the topic is everywhere these …

This startup wants to save the banana by editing its genes

June 19th, 2018 / Fast Company

In a lab at a U.K. research park, researchers from a startup called Tropic Biosciences are using CRISPR to create a better banana. The startup, which is also using gene editing to improve coffee, believes that technology could help save the fruit. Today, the company announced that it raised $10 …

How much longer do we have to wait?

June 19th, 2018 / Manilla Bulletin, Philippines

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) continues to be a major public health concern worldwide. It is estimated that 250,000–300,000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, with half of them dying within a year after getting blind.
Here at home, not only are we not making progress, the problem is getting worse. …

Engineered cotton grows on alternative fertilizer

June 19th, 2018 / c&en

Crop feeds on phosphite, potentially allowing it to outwit weeds and mitigate pollution from traditional fertilizer runoff
Wily weeds can develop resistance to herbicides, allowing them to compete with genetically modified crops designed to tolerate weed-killing chemicals. Now, a team is proposing another approach to genetically engineering crops to outwit weeds: …

African smallholder farmers embrace GPS-based digital solution

June 18th, 2018 / CPAfrica

Smallholder farmers are the most vulnerable to impacts of climate change, with rain-fed agriculture accounting for more than 90% of farmed land in sub-Saharan Africa. These farmers face many risks beyond their control, including drought, disease and pest epidemics. But a new GPS-based digital technology may help many African Smallholder …

Repositioning cassava sector will save Africa $1.2b

June 18th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

If the Cassava sector is properly repositioned, it is capable of saving the African continent about $1.2b, which can be redirected into the continent’s domestic economies.
Director for Agriculture, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Martin Fregene, disclosed this at the just concluded fourth International conference on cassava, organised by the Global …

AfDB plans $120 million to boost cassava production

June 15th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has disclosed plans to invest $120 million within the next three years to boost productivity and transform cassava and eight other commodities in Africa.
The nine commodities include: cassava, rice, maize, sorghum/millet, wheat, livestock, aquaculture, high iron beans and orange fleshed sweet potatoes.
The Director for Agriculture …

Agriculture, nutrition and fortification, supplementation and biofortification

June 15th, 2018 / Agriculture & Food Security

The worlds growing population and limited land resources require high intensity of food production. Human nutrition needs both macronutrients and micronutrients. One way of providing micronutrients in staple crops of the poor is biofortification, through plant breeding. All methods of plant breeding are acceptable and safe, and some methods can …

New programme to boost soil productivity and reduce soil degradation in Africa

June 15th, 2018 / ReliefWeb

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its Global Soil Partnership launched today a new programme to boost soil productivity and reduce soil degradation for greater food and nutrition security in Africa.
The Afrisoils programme aims to increase soil productivity in 47 African countries by 30 percent, and reduce …