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The 2015 GMO debate: science eclipses anti-biotech hysteria

December 21st, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The emergence of CRISPR – most scientists believe this gene-editing technique is a game-changer and the media coverage has been favorable. This technology is on a collision course with the food movement since CRISPR has the potential to address many of its concerns, from food safety to animal welfare. As …

Paris Climate Agreement unlocks opportunities for food and farming

December 21st, 2015 / Global Forum on Agricultural Research

COP21 opened the door for more adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector – will the agriculture community march in? New analysis from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS ) Read …

Protecting plants’ genetic resources for agriculture

December 18th, 2015 / The Namibian

Efforts are afoot to conserve and sustainably use plants as genetic resources for food and agriculture in Namibia. The Namibian National Strategic Action Plan for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (NNSAP-PGRFA) was recently developed under the guidance of the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre (GRTC) and a two-day …

The magic of hybrid seeds

December 18th, 2015 / Daily Nation, Kenya

One of the most important questions that often comes to farmers’ minds is, “what seeds should I plant?” Now, before rushing to the nearest agrovet or seed stockist, arm yourself with this guide that will enable you select the best seeds that fit the location of your farm. Read …

‘Let’s pool knowledge together on biotechnology’

December 17th, 2015 / GhanaWeb.com

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Mahama Ayariga has called on the proponents and sceptics of biotechnology to pool their knowledge together to achieve the collective goal of food security and food sovereignty. “If our common goal is to grow African agriculture then fora such as we are …

G-33 demands outcome on special safeguards

December 15th, 2015 / Livemint.com

With an agreement on a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) that they want unlikely at the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s 10th ministerial conference starting on Tuesday in Nairobi, a group of developing countries including India has demanded an outcome on special safeguards (SSGs), amending a provision that already exists in Article …

Africa closer to a cure for banana disease

December 15th, 2015 / Inter Press Service

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) headquartered in Ibadan, Nigeria in partnership with the National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda are close to a breakthrough after more than eight years researching solutions to BXW.In one Ugandan dialect, ‘kiwotoka’, describes the steamed look of banana plants affected …

Irish potatoes help combat effect of climate change in Ethiopia

December 14th, 2015 / Irish Times, Ireland

One success story among many that we have had here is the introduction of the humble Irish potato to drought-stricken and hungry areas of the highlands of Ethiopia. In an attempt to find a substitute for local varieties, we introduced the Belete variety which produced extremely high yields of 56.6 …

Five things you need to know about the Paris climate deal

December 14th, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

The UN climate talks in Paris have ended with an agreement between 195 countries to tackle global warming. The climate deal is at once both historic, important – and inadequate. From whether it is enough to avoid dangerous climate change to unexpected wins for vulnerable nations, here are five things …

A new breed of edits

December 14th, 2015 / Nature, UK

Genome editing allows much smaller changes to be made to DNA compared with conventional genetic engineering. In terms of agriculture, this might win over public and regulator opinion. Genome editing offers both subtlety and speed, wherever in the genome a researcher wants to target. The speed comes from the technologies’ …