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Exploring the best tactics to combat fall armyworm outbreaks in Africa

May 8th, 2018 / The Conversation

Cereal farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing heavy losses due to the devastation by an invasive pest: the Fall army worm – Spodoptera frugiperda. In Africa it has caused huge losses to staple cereals, especially maize and sorghum, affecting food security and trade. Damage to maize alone is estimated to …

Scientists develop disease surveillance system framework to improve food security

May 8th, 2018 / Nws Ghana

Agricultural scientists announced Wednesday they have developed a framework for Global Surveillance System (GSS) for crop diseases to help improve food security globally.
Roger Day, Sanitary and Phytosanitary coordinator at the Centre for Agricultural and Biosciences International (CABI), said surveillance is a key component for effective prevention, early detection and rapid …

Africa struggles for weapons against armyworm curse

May 8th, 2018 / The Strats Times, Singapore

On farms across Africa, a seemingly innocuous brown and beige caterpillar is waging a silent war, devastating rural incomes and posing a major threat to the continent’s food supply.
In just two years, the so-called fall armyworm has colonised three-quarters of Africa, according to the British-based Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences …

As gene editing nears the field, regulators and consumers lag behind

May 3rd, 2018 / The Progressive Farmer, US

A mushroom that doesn’t brown. White flour with as much fiber as whole-wheat flour. Corn that can fend off northern corn leaf blight. Soybeans that can tolerate salty soils and drought.
These products and dozens more are quietly making their way from laboratories to fields, bypassing the regulatory hurdles that genetically …

Delving into the GMO traits that cut back pesticide impacts globally

May 3rd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

This is the second in a three-part series making the case that the development of the biotech traits for insect resistance and herbicide tolerance are the most substantial innovations in sustainable agriculture in the last three decades. In part one, I laid out the context in which I believe they …

Researchers develop first gene drive targeting worldwide crop pest

April 20th, 2018 / Phys.org

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have developed a method of manipulating the genes of an agricultural pest that has invaded much of the United States and caused millions of dollars in damage to high-value berry and other fruit crops.
Research led by Anna Buchman in the lab of …

Scientists want to replace pesticides with bacteria

April 19th, 2018 / Bloomberg, US

Fresh snow coats the sidewalks outside Indigo Ag Inc.’s Boston offices, but inside the temperature is calibrated to mimic spring in the Midwest. Hundreds of almost identical soy seedlings sit beneath high-intensity arc lamps, basking in the artificially sunny 60F weather.
The plants aren’t destined to stay identical for long. “We …

The biotech innovator behind tissue culture in banana farming – Erostus Nsubug

April 18th, 2018 / The Observer, Uganda

EROSTUS NJUKI NSUBUGA is the chairman of the Uganda biotechnology consortium but is best known as the brains behind the groundbreaking of tissue culture of breeding bananas.
Nsubuga holds a master’s degree in agriculture but it means little other than being just part of his long curriculum vitae detailing. He always …

Scientists discover wild relative of tomato resistant to many insects

April 18th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the Wageningen University & Research have discovered a wild tomato species from the Galapagos Islands that is resistant to a wide range of insect pests. The wild tomato is closely related to the cultivated tomato, making the resilience easier to interbreed into the latter and ultimately make it …

Can genetic maize rescue our farmers from Fall Armyworm?

April 16th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

Genetically modified maize, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) could be Kenya’s silver bullet in the fight against Fall Armyworm which has so far destroyed more than 200,000 acres of maize farms since 2016.
The biologically modified seed is incorporated with specific protein content that chocks the worm which continues to wreak havoc across …