In the news...

How the science of biofortification grew from an idea to a food revolution

October 18th, 2018 / CGIAR

A major global success in nutrition in recent decades started with a simple idea from young CGIAR researchers back in the 1990s: What if we could breed vitamins and minerals into the staple crops that people consume daily?
The idea was biofortification, and the lead researcher was Dr. Howarth Bouis – …

Great expectations from Ethiopia’s wheat initiative

October 18th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Ethiopia provides a clear example of agricultural underperformance, as the country’s wheat production has consistently lagged other African nations. In 2012, Ethiopia’s wheat yields were 29 percent below neighboring Kenya, 13 percent below the African average, and 32 percent below the global average.
To help address these shortcomings, Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation …

First ever gene-edited wheat that produces high fibre flour could hit the market by 2020

October 17th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

The biotech firm Calyxt has completed the inaugural harvest of its high-fibre wheat product, the world’s first gene-edited, consumer-focused wheat product. The high-fibre wheat product is already the seventh Calyxt product that has been deemed non-regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ….
“The completion of these field trials for …

How to feed 10 billion people without destabilising the planet

October 17th, 2018 / European Scientist

A new study published on 10 October in the journal Nature has found that sustainably feeding the world population, estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050, is achievable but only by adopting healthy and more plant-based diets, cutting food loss and waste in half, and improving farming practices and …

Uganda takes major strides in biotech capacity development

October 17th, 2018 / Sunrise

B4FA Fellow Hero Lutaaya reports on a move seen as a major step to help the country launch itself into the bio-economy.
Uganda has taken major steps forward in building her biotechnology and biosafety capacity especially over the past ten years in major areas such as human capital development, infrastructure as …

Wild cousins of finger millet show promise of parasite resistance

October 16th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Finger millet can be grown at altitudes ranging from sea level to over 2000 metres above sea level, can withstand drought, and has high levels of essential amino acids and micronutrients.
Dr Chrispus Oduori kneels amidst a sea of colorful plastic buckets in a screenhouse in Western Kenya and shifts some …

Fall army worm is here to stay unless a miracle happens

October 16th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Speaking at a meeting on disaster risk management in Tunis, Monday Ahonsi, the fall army worm portfolio manager at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), said it was important that stakeholders in agriculture address early enough the strategies by which every country will counter the spread of the pest. …

Why Kenya should shift to genetically modified maize

October 15th, 2018 / CropNuts

The use of Bt maize is not a silver-bullet solution to at our food insecurity challenges, but has potential to contribute towards reduced suffering of the food deficits especially due to maize. By deploying Genetically Modified Maize products, Kenya has the potential of solving food insecurity problems. KALRO has done …

Biosafety: A sure path to sustainable economic development

October 15th, 2018 / NAIJ.com

World over there is no Biosafety Agency created with an aim to stop the practice of modern Biotechnology or GMOs but rather these Agencies are created to help it thrive in a positive way by harnessing their potentials for farmers and the Agricultural sector for economic growth and Nigeria should …

Vitamin A-rich bananas offer new hope to address vitamin A deficiency

October 12th, 2018 / CGIAR

Researchers in East Africa are introducing banana varieties from across the world to address severe vitamin A deficiency. Taste tests help to identify and fast track new varieties that consumers prefer.
Vitamin A deficiency is high in the East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC and Kenya, ranging from …