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Scientists using CRISPR-based technology to target agricultural pests

January 15th, 2019 / European Scientist

A new paper published on 8 January in Nature Communications describes a ‘precision-guided sterile insect technique’ that can effectively alter insect genes to control female viability and male fertility. The method could potentially be used to suppress increasing pest populations that threaten agricultural crops and to prevent the transmission of deadly diseases. The controllable, …

Banana experts converge in Tanzania for meeting

April 24th, 2018 / AllAfrica

Agricultural experts are meeting today to discuss how to improve production of banana, a staple food in eastern and central Africa. In so doing, they will review a five-year project that aims to expand and speed up existing banana breeding efforts in Tanzania and Uganda. The breeding is intended to …

Vaccines for plants? RNA spray could help protect crops from pests and disease

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Novel technologies are being sought to replace the traditional pesticides used to protect plants, particularly edible plants such as cereals. A new collaborative project between the University of Helsinki and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is shedding light on the efficacy of environmentally friendly RNA-based vaccines that …

Ghana loses 30 per cent of crop yields to pests, diseases

October 12th, 2015 / Graphic Online

In Ghana, the impact of pests and diseases on crop production is a threat to the country’s food security. An initiative called “Plant Wise” executed by the nonprofit Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International seeks to mitigate their effects on crop yields. So far, 66 plant clinics have been established in …

‘Know GMO’ documentary, filming in Africa, challenges anti-GM scare campaign

October 5th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project

Forthcoming documentary “Know GMO” aims to quiet the noisy debate around GMOs. Filmmakers were recently in Uganda to interview banana and cassava farmers, scientists and members of Parliament, those invested in seeking solutions to the diseases threatening staple plants in Africa. The film will focus on perspectives from scientists, policymakers …