In the news...

Increasing food production

January 18th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Last year the number of food insecure people in Africa rose from 220 million to 224million.
In its Regional Overview report the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) attributed the unfortunate rise to the changing weather patterns that caused poor harvests, loss of livestock, civil conflicts, and …

Rising temperatures put Africa’s rice production at risk

January 18th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

A new modelling study published today warns that the dry-season irrigated rice in West Africa’s Sahel region has reached the critical threshold of 37 degrees Celsius – the tipping point. Further temperature rise could devastate rice yields in this region due to decreasing photosynthesis at high temperatures.
This is an ominous …

Biofortification of beta-carotene in cassava enhances Provitamin A content and shelf life

January 17th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Findings of a new study in sub-Saharan Africa have indicated that biofortification of beta-carotene concentrations in cassava storage roots significantly increased provitamin A in the cultivars. This may mark an important milestone in addressing the region’s challenge with vitamin A deficiency. The result is published in Plant Biotechnology Journal.
Food and …

Rwanda begins process of legalizing GMO crops

January 17th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has drafted a law governing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Rwanda which will soon be forwarded to the Rwanda Law Reform Commission for review.
The draft bill was prepared along with the National Biosafety Framework, biosafety policy and regulations according to officials.
The objective of the legislation …

Official: One million farmers grow bio-fortified crops in Nigeria

January 17th, 2018 / BizCommunity Nigeria

Dr Paul Ilona, the country manager of Harvestplus, an international agriculture organisation, says over one million smallholder farmers grow bio-fortified food crops in Nigeria. Ilona disclosed this in Ibadan on Tuesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that no fewer than six million people consumed …

How can we farm enough food to feed the world?

January 15th, 2018 / TED.com

TED Video:
Sara Menker was born in Ethiopia and as a child experienced her country’s famine — and the rationing of food — first hand. She is the founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, a technology company that uses data analysis to help create a more productive global agriculture industry.
Sara believes …

Role of biotechnology in ensuring food security, sustainable agriculture

January 12th, 2018 / Nigerian Observer

By most accounts, low agricultural production is one of the prevailing factors behind the high incidence of poverty and food insecurity across the world.
However, concerned observers note that most poor and food insecure people in the world live in developing countries and rural areas.
They say that one of the most …

Scientists project good harvest this year, as plans to release BT cotton, Cowpea, others gain support

January 10th, 2018 / Nigerian Tribune

Scientists in Nigeria have said that plans to release BT cotton, Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea, Genetically Modified Cassava and other crops have been given green light, as Confined Field Trial for these crops have been conducted successfully.
The scientists also said that the formal release of these crops to farmers …

GM potato: Variety could deflate GMO myths’ bubble in Uganda

January 10th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Uganda is steadily progressing towards having a potato that will not require chemical spraying. This is because scientists at National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) and International Potato Centre have developed Late Blight resistant variety, Vic 1 from the popularly grown susceptible Victoria variety.
According to Dr Alex Barekye, who is the …

Herbicide-resistant ‘super weeds’? Don’t blame GMO crops

January 9th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant crops have been widely adopted by farmers in the United States and other countries around the world, and these crops have caused significant changes in herbicide use patterns.
GE crops have been blamed for increased problems with herbicide-resistant weeds (colloquially called by the misnomer “superweeds”); however, there …