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Seeds without borders – using and sharing plant genetic diversity

November 27th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

11 African countries gathered last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to implement seed sharing and use for climate change adaptation, food security and poverty alleviation. No single country has all the genetic resources it needs to adapt to global challenges of climate change, food security and poverty alleviation – …

It is time to store water during this rainy season

November 27th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: We live in a world of contrasts. Only a few weeks ago, in most parts of Uganda, we complained about scarcity of rain. Yet, now the general complaint is there is a lot of rain. It makes the on-going political campaigns difficult since most …

Are young people the answer to Africa’s food security?

November 25th, 2015 / Inter Press Service, Italy

Are you young, energetic, creative, ambitious and need a job? Africa’s agriculture sector needs you! This is a potential sales pitch to Africa’s “youth dividend” to make a living from agriculture, considered a less attractive sector for a career but the mainstay of a number of economies on the …

Orphan gene could boost protein content of rice, corn and soya

November 25th, 2015 / Iowa State University, US

A recently published study from two Iowa State University scientists shows that a gene found only in a single plant species can increase protein content when introduced into staple crops. The research has implications for a wide array of crops, especially for staples grown in the developing world, where …

SARI complete second stage trials for GM cotton varieties

November 24th, 2015 / YouTube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash files a video report: The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) has completed it second stage confined field trials a Roundup Ready Herbicides Genetically Modified Cotton variety which seeks to monitor the effects of glyphosate formulations when applied on weed and the cotton plant as means …

We need a voluntary international agreement to protect soil

November 24th, 2015 / Nature, UK

The history now being written in the world’s soils is not so rosy. Every year, 75 billion tonnes of crop soil are lost worldwide to erosion by wind and water, and through agriculture; this costs about US$400 billion a year3. Only a few countries have national legislation protecting soil, …

Pass the biotechnology and biosafety bill, Sekandi says

November 24th, 2015 / New Vision, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana reports: Vice President Edward Kiwaunka Sekandi has called upon Parliament to pass the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012. The Bill in meant to provide a regulatory framework to ensure safety in research and development of modern biotechnology in Uganda. Sekandi said that genetic engineering; a …

Squash pots and bad bananas

November 19th, 2015 / Huffington Post Green, US

A promising biotech solution (developed by Ugandan scientists for Ugandan farmers) involves the transfer of 2 genes from green peppers into the banana plant to give it resistance to wilt. It has had tremendous success in field trials but is running into opposition from anti-GMO activists who, not unlike Honeycutt, …

How modern biotechnology can create 25 000 jobs

November 19th, 2015 / NewsDiary Online, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: Nigeria Federal Government’s (FG) determination to diversify the economy as a result of the challenges in the oil sector has set it to develop immutable strategies that would ensure the creation of, at least, 25,000 jobs annually from the biotechnology sector. A statement by the …

Kenyan farmers thrive with modern crop and animal husbandry techniques

November 16th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

After close to 10 subsequent years without decent maize and bean harvests, farmers in Nyamira County are gradually diversifying into different crops, some of which are now being grown in the area for the first time. But two neighbours from Riomoro village, Priscillah Moseti and Nicholas Mang’era, have stood out …