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Genetic engineering solutions for medical and agricultural challenges

October 23rd, 2018 / Blue and Green Tomorrow

GE technology has had a very positive impact on our world. The change has been most significant in the agricultural industry, but the medical industry has been affected to. Fortunately, it has had a positive impact on the environment, which should make our lives much better in the long-term. Read …

Researchers take genomic sequencing to the farm to help transform lives

October 23rd, 2018 / Phys.org

In a world first, international scientists including a University of Otago researcher, have used whole genome sequencing to help diagnose a plant pathogen destroying crops on African farms, potentially paving the way for preventing crop failures, vital to the African economy.
Dr. Jo-Ann Stanton, a Senior Research Fellow in the University …

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 – …

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 …

Scientists’ breakthrough brings hope for banana resistance breeding to deadly bacterial wilt disease

October 9th, 2018 / CGIAR: Roots, Tubers and Bananas

A team, led by scientists from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), have announced a breakthrough in the search for banana varieties that are resistant to the lethal bacterial banana wilt disease. This debunks the notion that all banana varieties are susceptible to the disease and opens the possibility …

Pesticides: what we ought to know

October 8th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Pests are a big nuisance to farmers because, among other things, they reduce crop production.
To overcome the problem, farmers often resort to buying pesticides which are poisonous chemicals manufactured to kill the pests. They may be dusted or sprayed on the crop to prevent pest attack.
The …

Hybrid maize resists lethal necrosis

September 26th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The disease can destroy entire harvests and is thus a severe food security risk.
A centralised maize lethal necrosis disease screening facility established in Naivasha five years ago has released 15 disease-resistant hybrid maize varieties in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
After screening more than 150,000 maize germplasms, the team validated genomic regions …

UCC develops high yielding drought and disease resilient cowpea varieties

September 24th, 2018 / Ghana News Agency

A team of researchers from the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Cape Coast (UCC) has developed eight different varieties of cowpea as part of its “Cowpea Project”.
The varieties, which are more drought and disease resilient and high yielding are expected to be released to seed production companies …

UN calls emergency meeting over African swine fever as China confirms ninth case

September 7th, 2018 / Daily Telegraph, UK

The United Nations has called an emergency meeting of animal disease experts amid fears African swine fever (ASF) is set to sweep through Asia and devastate pig farming.
China on Wednesday confirmed its ninth case of the highly infectious disease since it was first spotted in the country a month ago …

GMOs are not agriculture’s future – biotech Is

September 7th, 2018 / Scientific American

… agriculture needs to adapt. The only question is how can we move forward in a way that does not repeat the mistakes of the GMO (genetically modified organism) era? The answer lies in newer technologies that allow us to responsibly develop crops that never integrate non-native elements into a …