In the news...

“GM crops could help save lives” …

February 6th, 2016 / IOL, South Africa

Modifying plants to be drought tolerant may help secure South Africa’s future of food production, a leading researcher from the University Cape Town has said. Jill Farrant, Professor of molecular and cell biology at UCT, has spent the last 21 years researching the benefits that could come from genetically modifying …

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe declares drought disaster

February 6th, 2016 / BBC, UK

The United Nations World Food Programme has said some 14 million people face hunger in southern Africa because of a drought that has been exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon. South Africa, Namibia and Botswana have also been badly hit. Read …

Four African agricultural start-ups leading the field

February 5th, 2016 / CNN, US

As The World Bank recently reported, food production in sub-Saharan Africa needs to increase by 60 percent over the next 15 years to feed a growing population. But with the challenges to improve production, come new opportunities. Women across the continent are taking matters into their own hands, and kick-starting …

Local scientists creating global impacts in agriculture

February 2nd, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Nina Dudnik writes “In a three-room lab outside Nairobi, Kenya, cutting-edge science is meeting time-honoured farming practices. Steven Runo, a senior lecturer with a specialisation in molecular biology, and his colleagues at Kenyatta University are using the tools of modern molecular biology to overcome constraints of growing maize, sorghum and …

Agriculture doesn’t have to be a poor people’s game

February 2nd, 2016 / How we made it in Africa

For decades, farmers in Africa have been portrayed as illiterate, old and poor. But agribusiness is gradually becoming ‘cool’, championed by wealthy public figures, and tech-savvy youth developing new solutions for the industry. Increasingly, agribusiness is being advocated as a viable career for Africa youth, many of whom grew up …

What is a GMO?

February 2nd, 2016 / Youtube/piffle

VIDEO: Want to know? Watch this – it’s brilliant
see …

Is cassava the key to tomorrow’s food security?

February 1st, 2016 / International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Cassava is a survivor crop. It can withstand harsh conditions – drought, heat or infertile soils – as agriculture intensifies and populations grow. It is a carbohydrate source for 500 million people globally and a staple in Africa, Asia and South America, which account for 53 percent, 33 percent and …

The need to prioritize farmer perspective

February 1st, 2016 / Alliance for Science, US

For many in Uganda, banana bacterial wilt disease is having devastating effects on their staple carbohydrate, the Matooke banana. Genetic engineering offers a promising option for mitigating its effects. While Matthew Schnurr, PhD, an environmental geographer at Dalhousie University, remains skeptical of the benefits of first generation biotechnologies to smallholder …

Plentiful short rains boost Kenya’s food security

February 1st, 2016 / Ghana News

The report published by food security experts from the Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWS Net), an agency which provides early warning and analysis on food insecurity, says the El Nino-related rains which pounded several parts of Kenya are expected to boost food security in Kenya by helping a significant recovery …

Can next generation crop precision editing avoid marketing pitfalls of GMOs?

January 29th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Next-generation precision gene editing biotechnologies like CRISPR-Cas9 and RNAi are more efficient ways to engineer variants for crops, medicine, biofuel and other uses. Publications like Genetic Engineering News have hailed these innovations as “the Next Magic Bullet,” largely because they do not involve the introduction of so-called “foreign genes” — …