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Africa’s collaborative biotech research bears fruit

July 27th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Dr. Priver Namanya adjusted her view in the microscope, trying to get a better image of the banana cells. Then a smile lit her face. After spending the day trying to ascertain that she had incorporated a vitamin A gene into the banana cells, she had achieved success.
Namanya, a plant …

Synchronised policies needed for biotech

July 26th, 2018 / The Land, Australia

The most recent data shows that in 2017, 189.8 million hectares of biotech/genetically modified (GM) crops were planted across 24 countries, and imported by 43 countries, according to industry organisation the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).
To date, growth in planted hectares has been largely confined …

European ruling could slow Africa’s push for CRISPR crops

July 26th, 2018 / Wired.com

Many European scientists cheered back in January when it seemed the court of the European Union would ease its restrictions on gene-editing technology in food. In a 15,000-word opinion, an advisor to the European Court of Justice suggested that gene-edited crops should not face the same stiff regulations as genetically …

Genome editing in agriculture: methods, applications, and governance

July 12th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) released an Issue Paper titled Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance. CAST explains that genome editing is a powerful new method that enables unprecedented control over genetic material and offers the opportunity to make rapid advances that influence agricultural practices. …

GMOs are not dangerous

July 10th, 2018 / Modern Ghana

Former National President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana Mohammed Adams Nasiru has dismissed concerns Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) are harmful to humans.
In a clear deviation from the position of the association he used to lead, Mr. Nasiru insisted GMOs don’t pose any danger to humans and no one …

Kenya, Uganda economies ride on agriculture to boost growth

July 10th, 2018 / The East African

Agriculture was the main driver for the Kenyan and Ugandan economies in the first three months of this year, expanding almost 10 per cent from 2017.
Kenya said its economy expanded by 5.7 per cent in the first three months of 2018, compared with 4.5 per cent over the same period …

Experts decry exclusion of Africa’s local farmers in food security efforts

July 9th, 2018 / InterPress

Joshua Kiragu reminisces of years gone by when just one of his two hectares of land produced at least 40 bags of maize. But that was 10 years ago. Today, Kiragu can barely scrape up 20 bags from the little piece of land that he has left – it measures …

IFAD launches online tool for agricultural and rural development

July 6th, 2018 / African Farming

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has launched the world’s first web-based tool, designed to collect and share agriculture and rural development solutions implemented in developing countries.
The main objective of the rural solutions portal is to promote the uptake of successful innovative agricultural and rural practices, technologies and methodologies …

Record-high adoption of GM crops

July 4th, 2018 / ISAAA

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) launched the annual report on the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2017 (ISAAA Brief 53) through a media conference held on June 26, 2018 at Acacia Hotel, Manila, Philippines. The report is the 22nd of the ISAAA series of …

African farmers demand increased access to mechanised agriculture

July 3rd, 2018 / Joy Online

Fascinated by the advanced technology on farms in America, African farmers are demanding increased access to mechanized means of farming as the sure way to ensure food security and help lift the continent out of poverty.
In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 70 percent of agricultural production is subsistence farming …