In the news...

New crop products offer hope against disease and drought

November 20th, 2015 / The Sunrise, Uganda

The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has released new food crop products for Cassava, Maize, Sweet Potato and Wheat which offer hope in addressing prevailing disease and drought stresses. Among the new releases are two new Cassava lines NAROCASS1 and NAROCASS2 which the research organisation says are high-yielding, aromatic, …

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, …

Enhancing the biotechnology of crops with microbials

November 19th, 2015 / Country Guide, Canada

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: When the word “biotech” first leapt onto the agri-food scene, there were plenty of proponents and opponents for the science of implanting different genes into corns, soybean and canola genetics. The first Bt hybrids offered yield advantages, and the early days of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans saw …

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 …

Acceptance of GM crops spreads

November 18th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: The Kenyan government is considering lifting the ban on GMOs, which will probably be this month. Previously, the Deputy President, William Ruto, made the announcement at the fourth Annual Biosafety Conference organised by the Kenya National Biosafety Authority (NBA) in Nairobi. “Mark my words, in …

20 years experience of GM crops

November 18th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

In spite of the rapid adoption of GM crops, their use remains contentious. Public opposition and overregulation have become real threats to further developments in modern plant sciences. It is widely believed that GM crops are bad for human health, damage the environment, and hurt smallholder farmers in developing countries, …

Global food demand estimated to double by 2050: new paper assesses global long-term scenarios

November 17th, 2015 / Food Climate Research Network

This paper, published in PLOS ONE, describes a transparent method for constructing specific food demand scenarios. It requires population and income projections as input, with no information on the food supply side needed. The tool is intended to support the work of scientists who require food demand scenarios as input …

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 …

Is biotechnology “natural”? Depends how you define “nature”

November 16th, 2015 / Mapping Ignorance

Silvia Román writes “… we are heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “more natural” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. This bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, both …

Sustainable agriculture is all about smart technology and scaling up

November 16th, 2015 / Aeon

Louise O Fresco writes “… New generations of farmers must receive assistance in order to increase productivity, and reduce hard labour and negative environmental impact. The challenge is not to maintain traditional production, but to protect tradition by combining it with the greatest advances in science to create truly sustainable …