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Saving the banana

February 8th, 2016 / Scroll.in

Catastrophe is looming for the banana industry. A new strain has emerged of a soil-borne fungus known as “Panama disease” which can wipe out entire plantations – and it is rapidly spreading around the world. Farmers in Australia, Latin America and across Asia and Africa all fear the worst. The …

Fungus-resistant wheat varieties released, farmers to get seed

February 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) is to make available a couple of disease-resistant wheat varieties to farmers for the next planting season. The three recently released varieties are resistant to UG99 stem rust virus and were developed by Buginyanya Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute …

What is a GMO?

February 2nd, 2016 / Youtube/piffle

VIDEO: Want to know? Watch this – it’s brilliant
see …

Uganda: GM potato shows extreme resistance to late bright

January 27th, 2016 / ISAAA

The first field trial of genetically modified (GM) potatoes resistant to potato blight conducted in Uganda from October 2015 to January 2016 has been completed. Twelve highly resistant GM potatoes of ‘Desiree’ and one of ‘Victoria’ varieties from the International Potato Center (CIP) showed extreme levels of resistance compared to …

Climate change and GMOs: can non-transgenic varieties address global challenges?

January 27th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Talk over rice production and genetics has been dominated by Golden Rice, the bioengineered rice variety that was enhanced to produce Vitamin A. While this has the promise to cure up to 500,000 annual worldwide cases of blindness due to Vitamin A-deficient diets, it has yet to come to market. …

Favourite banana may be doomed; can new varieties replace it?

January 25th, 2016 / The Salt, US

There’s a deadly fungus that attacks banana plants. In the past century, an earlier version of this fungus wiped out commercial plantings of a banana variety called Gros Michel that once dominated the global banana trade. Now history may be repeating itself. A new version of the fungus, called Tropical …

Digging for seeds of truth in GMO debate

January 18th, 2016 / CBS News, US

By some estimates, 80 percent of all processed foods — cereals, baby formula, canned soups and more — contain at least one GMO, or Genetically Modified Organism. But whether GMOs are safe and whether they should be listed on the label has led to a very big food fight. …

The 2015 GMO debate: science eclipses anti-biotech hysteria

December 21st, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The emergence of CRISPR – most scientists believe this gene-editing technique is a game-changer and the media coverage has been favorable. This technology is on a collision course with the food movement since CRISPR has the potential to address many of its concerns, from food safety to animal welfare. As …

Growing coffee varieties resistant to CWD

December 17th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farmer Joseph Musisi Ssebatta talks to B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, about his CWD-resistant coffee nursery, “We expected that by 2015 the country (Uganda) would be exporting at least 4.5 million 60-kilogram-bags which it used to export long ago but unfortunately this has not yet happened mainly due to the coffee …

Africa closer to a cure for banana disease

December 15th, 2015 / Inter Press Service

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) headquartered in Ibadan, Nigeria in partnership with the National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda are close to a breakthrough after more than eight years researching solutions to BXW.In one Ugandan dialect, ‘kiwotoka’, describes the steamed look of banana plants affected …