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A case for Uganda’s use of biotechnology

October 12th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Michael Ssali, B4FA Rellow, writes: “I write this article from the stand point of a Ugandan farmer that has seen acres of my coffee farm destroyed by the incurable coffee wilt disease (CWD) and has also lost half of the banana and cassava crops due to the banana bacterial wilt …

Allow experts to handle GMO testing process

October 12th, 2016 / Business Daily

Health minister Cleopa Mailu’s decision to keep on hold the planned trials of genetically modified (GM) maize on the basis of a decision made four years ago shows the extent to which Kenya’s policy landscape is fraught with contradictions.
That the minister can still by fiat overrule the professional advice from …

Soybeans – farmers advised to adapt planting on ridges to enhance growth and germination

October 11th, 2016 /

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports from Ghana: an agronomist with the USAID-Feed the Future, Soybean Innovation lab, Dr. George Awuni has urged soybean farmers to adopt planting on ridges to enhance the plant growth population. See …

Climate change adaptation in agriculture: practices and technologies

October 11th, 2016 /

In 2014 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), as part of its mandate to consider issues related to agriculture, decided to invite submissions from parties and observers, covering four topics, in 2015 and 2016. Of the two topics for …

EU Parliament, bucking EU Commission, opposes authorization of five new GMOs

October 11th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The European Parliament opposed the European Commission plans to authorise five GMO products, maize Bt11, 1507 and MON810 (seeds and products), and a glyphosate-resistant cotton, in a vote on [Oct. 6]. MEPs reiterated their call for a reform of the EU’s GMO authorisation procedure. See …

Seed distributions in Ethiopia boost crop yields, strengthen communities’ resilience

October 10th, 2016 /

FAO support reinforces food security response to one of the worst El Niño-induced droughts on record.
Ethiopia is about to complete one of the largest and most successful seed distribution campaigns in the country’s history, aimed at helping farmers to stay on their feet in the face of a blistering drought …

Genomics will allow plant breeders to use seed banks more effectively

October 10th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

There are vast numbers of seeds in gene banks around the world. A new approach uses their genomes to predict the best options to grow for specific traits.
“We think it’s possible to use these predictions to guide our breeding and selection decisions,” says first author Xiaoqing Yu, a postdoctoral agronomy …

Top 10 consumer questions about GMOs answered

October 10th, 2016 / gmo answers, US

GMO Answers conducted a survey with the Opinion Research Council (ORC) to gather consumers’ top ten questions related to GMOs. Below are those questions in order of interest, followed by the facts about genetically modified foods for each. See …

State pledges Sh2 billion to encourage youth in agriculture

October 10th, 2016 / The Star, Kenya

The government has committed Sh2 billion to support youth in agriculture, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
The President said the Sh2 billion Youth Fund would be used to train young people in new farming techniques.
“It will also be spent on new technology and management, so that through the entire agriculture value …

Can the UN climate talks help African farmers?

October 6th, 2016 / African Farming, UK

Africa’s agriculture sector could be argued to be failing but with technology, education and funding there’s a way back and the UN Climate talks could help this.
“Food production” featured just three times in the Paris climate agreement text. Often, renewable energy or new motoring technology overshadows farming and food …