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Kenya: GMOs no panacea for food security needs

June 29th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

While the debate on whether or not cultivation of GMOs should be allowed in Kenya rages, it is not the magic bullet to our food security challenges
While the debate on whether or not cultivation of GMOs should be allowed in Kenya rages, it is not the magic bullet to our …

How GMO crops can help Nigeria achieve food security

June 29th, 2018 / New Telegraph, Nigeria

The tortuous journey to creating food security through bio-technology has been undulating, but it is a sacrifice worth making by stakeholders who have been involved in the processes. Over the years, farmers’ productivity and profitability have continued to decline in Nigeria and other developing countries, due to several factors, ranging …

Weeds are winning the war against herbicide resistance

June 28th, 2018 / Scientific American

Herbicides are under evolutionary threat. Can modern agriculture find a new way to fight back?
For farmers, protecting fields from pests and plagues is a constant battle fought on multiple fronts. Many insects have a taste for the same plants humans do, and pathogenic microbes infect leaves, shoots and roots. Then …

Who is afraid of GMOs? Fear peddlers

June 28th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Margaret Karembu, Director of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) AfriCenter and Chair of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) – Kenya Chapter, writes:
The genetically modified organism (GMO) debate remains engulfed in a maelstrom of controversies. Sadly, what is largely a First-World debate continues to increasingly …

Popular rice variety gets extra gene power to fight bacterial attacks

June 27th, 2018 / The Hindu, India

Researchers at the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Rice Research have developed a new variety of the popular Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) rice that can resist bacterial blight disease.
Bacterial blight disease, which affects rice crop, is caused by bacteria, Xanthomonas oryzae, and drastically reduces rice productivity.
The high yielding ISM variety is …

WEMA maize shows resistance to armyworm

June 26th, 2018 / Leadership, Nigeria

Nigeria, like other African countries, woke up to a nightmare of recent army worm infestation in the region, leaving farmers worried as the pest, which has grown resistance to chemicals, wreaked havoc on newly cultivated maize farms across the country. This resulted in the severe reduction on the yield recouped …

Can biotech crops solve the hunger crisis?

June 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

Is there a likely solution in sight for hunger? “I now say that the world has the technology—either available or well advance in the research pipeline—to feed on a sustainable basis a population of 10 billion people,” Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug pointed out. “The more pertinent question today …

Inside the genetically modified cassava research In Uganda

June 21st, 2018 / Business Focus, Uganda

On May 24, 2018, a few journalists and I visited National Crop Resources Research Institute in Namulonge, located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Kampala City.
The trip was to assess progress in research that entails developing Genetically Modified (GM) cassava that is resistant to Cassava Brown Streak Disease and Casssava …

Gene editing, GMOs, and fear-based marketing

June 20th, 2018 / ITIF

After decades of special interest groups raising unwarranted fears and misrepresenting every aspect of so-called “GMOs”, opponents of innovation in plant and animal breeding are adding a new under-the-bed-monster to the mythical menagerie. This one is called “gene editing” aka “GE,” and it seems the topic is everywhere these …

This startup wants to save the banana by editing its genes

June 19th, 2018 / Fast Company

In a lab at a U.K. research park, researchers from a startup called Tropic Biosciences are using CRISPR to create a better banana. The startup, which is also using gene editing to improve coffee, believes that technology could help save the fruit. Today, the company announced that it raised $10 …