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Drought resistant, higher-yielding GM rice developed by Japanese researchers

April 10th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science have developed strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations. Published in Plant Biotechnology Journal, the study reports that transgenic rice modified with a gene from the Arabidopsis plant yield more rice than unmodified rice when subjected to …

Empowering rural farmers with technologies for improved yields

April 10th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Smallholder farms dominate African agriculture, and most of them continue to employ traditional cultivation techniques but experts from the Sasakawa Global 2000 ask farmers to employ better farm technologies to solve the problem of food security by looking at the full length of the value chain. …

How to build a sustainable farming and food supply chain across Africa

April 10th, 2017 / African Business Review, South Africa

By 2050, the world will be home to some 9.7 billion people and it is expected that food production will need to double by this time to accommodate this steep rise in population. Over half of the world’s crops are produced by smallholder farmers, yet these farmers, particularly those based …

Parliamentary journalists support dialogue on the biotech and biosafety bill passage in UGANDA

April 6th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Journalists ascribed to the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA), and members of the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance (UAA) have expressed their willingness to help readers and listeners to better understand biotechnology research work done in Uganda and the need for biosafety regulation. This was during a sensitization seminar on Biotechnology and …

Kenyan youth farmers call for adoption of WEMA BT maize

April 6th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Kenyan youth farmers have rallied behind researchers in urging government to allow commencement of National Performance Trials (NPTs) for the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Bt maize. The farmers were speaking during the 2017 agri-biotech forum held at University of Embu, eastern Kenya on March 29-30, 2017.
While expressing his …

Strengthening seed supply chains in Africa

April 6th, 2017 / ICRISTAT Happenings

Increasing adoption of improved varieties that meet the needs of farmers and consumers was the focus of a review and planning meet of the project Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement for Sorghum and Millet Phase II (HOPE II) held recently.
Focusing on developing a seed road map, discussions were organized on …

New robust oilseed crop can resist global warming

April 5th, 2017 / University of Copenhagen, Denmark

University of Copenhagen and the global player Bayer CropScience have successfully developed a new oilseed crop that is much more resistant to heat, drought and diseases than oilseed rape. The breakthrough is so big that it will feature as cover story of the April issue of Nature Biotechnology, the most …

Soybean farmers in east and southern Africa get a boost

April 5th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Smallholder farmers in east and southern Africa could benefit from a project to innovate ways to help unlock barriers in regional soybean value chains.
The UK-funded FoodTrade East and Southern Africa (FoodTrade ESA) has awarded £1million (about US$1.2 million) to Classic Foods Limited of Kenya and Seba Foods Limited of Zambia …

Earthworms are more if you want to save the planet

April 5th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

Not all wildlife is created equal in our eyes. Take the earthworm, which doesn’t have the widespread appeal of larger, more charismatic animals such as gorillas, tigers or pandas. Worms are never going to get a strong “cute response”, and they won’t ever be the face of a conservation campaign.
But …

The challenge ahead: harnessing gene editing to sustainable agriculture

April 5th, 2017 / Bizcommunity.com

The role of genetic engineering in agriculture and food has generated enormous interest and controversies, with a large-scale embrace by some nations and wholesale bans by others. Many studies have been done and much research remains to be done on the impact genetically modified organisms (GMO) can have on broader …