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Kenya: Biotech maize field trials fail to get crop agency green light

April 3rd, 2018 / Business Daily, Kenya

Plans for commercial cultivation of genetically modified maize in Kenya have been dealt a blow after a plants agency declined to give State scientists the green light to proceed with the exercise.
National Biosafety Authority, the body responsible for regulating GMOs, had late last year written to the Kenya Agricultural and …

Uganda: MPs want speedy passing of the Biosafety Bill

April 3rd, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

From B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru:
When scientists are carrying out research to get a solution to a problem be it in health, agriculture, environment and engineering sector, it is important for the public to give them the necessary support, more so policy makers and other government authorities must be at the …

Optimism high as Uganda’s biotech bill gets “second chance”

April 2nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Some Ugandan officials are optimistic that the nation’s biotechnology biosafety bill will soon pass, saying that President Museveni’s concerns have been addressed.
“The president expressed concern on seven out of 44 clauses in the biosafety bill,” noted Kafeero Sekitoleko, chairman of Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee. “These have since been addressed …

Disease-resistant GMO crops can reduce pesticide use

March 19th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Recently, University of Florida plant geneticists Zhonglin Mou and Kevin Folta, along with their team of graduate students, announced a new method to fight common diseases in fruit plants. Their discovery could drastically reduce the use of fungicides if widely implemented by growers!
Unfortunately, their methods may never be put to …

CRISPR & Novel Breeding Techniques (NBTs) related in agriculture

March 14th, 2018 / AgroPages.com

An Interview with Alison Van Eenennaam, Animal Biotechnology & Genomics Extension Specialist from University of California.
“Gene editing will not replace conventional breeding programs, but rather will work synergistically with conventional tools”
What is the current status and direction of CRISPR & NBTs application in agriculture?
As with all breeding methods they …

Can Oxitec’s genetically engineered insects combat fall armyworm crop damage and famine in Africa?

March 14th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Fall armyworm is a moth larvae that is incredibly destructive. It causes widespread crop losses in the Americas and now has been found in Africa. This pest consumes everything in its path, and can travel many miles on the wind. It is believed that this organism could cause widespread famine …

African women adopt smart solutions for climate change

March 9th, 2018 / CTA, Netherlands

Climate-smart agriculture practices are helping to counter the devastating conditions faced by farmers in Africa in recent years. Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba is Programme Manager for the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), a longstanding CTA partner. She explains how women are at the forefront of farmers’ efforts …

To plant or not to plant – the debate over GM seeds

March 9th, 2018 / Dispatch, Uganda

The current debate about the use of genetically-modified seeds in Uganda might determine Africa’s agricultural future.
John Ssembajjwe, a long-time maize farmer in the Wakiso and Masaka districts, walks around his two-acre farm in Sissa and recalls the time he almost broke down in tears after his crop was scorched by …

Kenya developing animal biotech regulatory guidelines

March 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Kenya could soon begin using genetically modified (GM) animals in research as the country’s biosafety authority is set to finalize draft guidelines on regulation of contained use of transgenic animals. Speaking at a workshop on regulation of GM animals in Kenya, acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Authority …

CRISPR gene editing technology and the future of Nigeria’s biotechnology industry

March 7th, 2018 / Medium.com

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), is bringing with it, a new era that is fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds with remarkable impacts on global economies, partly consolidating what is now known as bioeconomies. As breakthroughs in different fields (including artificial intelligence; autonomous vehicles; gene editing; the Internet of …