In the news...

Closer to harvest? The status of the Golden Rice project

November 29th, 2018 / Flip Science, Philippines

A variety of Oryza sativa (rice) genetically engineered using recombinant DNA technology, Golden Rice contains beta carotene, an antioxidant which the body converts into Vitamin A. This gives the rice grain the yellow-orange or gold color that inspired its name.
However, the Golden Rice project is still on its way to …

Tech fall armyworm solutions winners recognised

November 21st, 2018 / The East African, Kenya

Two companies from the region have been rewarded for formulating digital solutions to the invasive fall armyworm.
Farm.ink, a Nairobi-based start-up, took the top prize of $150,000 for the most viable way to combat the pest, which has had devastating effects on maize farms in Africa. Farm.ink integrated a Fall Armyworm …

Safeguarding food security with plant health

November 9th, 2018 / International Potato Centre

By the year 2050, the global population is estimated to exceed 9 billion. We will need to feed more people with fewer resources while addressing the challenges posed by climate change. An expected side-effect of rising temperatures is a population boom of the insects and diseases that threaten agricultural productivity. …

What’s wrong with bananas

November 6th, 2018 / Nautilus

Norman C. Ellstrand, distinguished professor of genetics at the University of California, Riverside where he holds the Jane S. Johnson Endowed Chair in Food and Agriculture, writes:
Of the important global crops, the banana is the most genetically uniform. A single cluster of nearly identical genotypes, the Cavendish subgroup, nearly …

New push in pipeline for acceptance of GMO seeds

November 5th, 2018 / IPP Media

THE Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) has joined farmers across the country in pushing for changes to existing agricultural laws to allow the use of genetically modified
organism (GMO) seed varieties because they are drought resistant and can’t be easily destroyed by pests.
This follows successful trials conducted at the TARI …

Plague of caterpillars threatening food crisis may be halted with safe pesticides

November 5th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

Plague of caterpillars threatening food crisis may be halted with safe pesticides
Study suggests biopesticides should be trialled to control the march of armyworm that’s destroying crops across the continent.
Experts have identified safer, effective pesticides they believe can control a plague of caterpillars that is devastating crops across Africa.
Many farmers …

Field trials of GM maize shows signs of withstanding stem borer and Fall armyworm

November 1st, 2018 / Daily News, Tanzania

TANZANIA’s second year of confined field trials of genetic modified maize is bearing fruit, as the crop has significantly shown signs of withstanding stem borer and fall armyworm attacks, compared to conventional maize varieties.
The confined field trials (CFT), which started in April 2016, are located in the semiarid area of …

Ugandan scientists poised to release vitamin-fortified GMO banana

October 31st, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Ugandan scientists are eying a 2021 release date for genetically modified bananas fortified with vitamin A, provided the nation passes its biosafety law.
In 2005, Ugandan scientists began using the tools of biotechnology to breed bananas fortified with vitamin A. Their goal was to help rural families …

A fight against vitamin A deficiency

October 30th, 2018 / Business Mirror, Philippines

‘THE soul, fortunately, has an interpreter—often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter—in the eye,” wrote Charlotte Bronte in her famed Jane Eyre. Marcus Tullius Cicero had the same view when he said: “The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.”
A survey was conducted …

Ministry of Science releases 19 high yield crop varieties, 1 chicken breed

October 24th, 2018 / Vanguard, Nigeria

A total of 19 new high yield crop varieties have been released by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to enhance Nigerian agriculture. The National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) approved the release at its 26th meeting held at its secretariat, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), …