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Ghana high court rules in favour of biotech

November 12th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

An Accra Fast Track High Court dismissed the request of food advocacy organization, Foreign Sovereignty Ghana (FSG), to shelve the commercialization of biotech cowpea and rice until the provisions of the Biosafety Act were fully implemented. According to Justice Dennice Adjei, the commercialization of biotech products would not affect Ghanaians …

The role of plant science in food security

November 11th, 2015 / University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Plant science has a necessary but not sufficient role to play in meeting the global food security challenge.Rising temperatures are reducing yields; an effect which is projected to intensify over the coming decades. And increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, widely …

Smallholders gaining from nitrogen-efficient maize

November 10th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Smallholders face challenges such as poor soils and high cost of fertilisers. New improved varieties can raise yields by 30 per cent even in poor soils. Smallholders are seeing the varieties’ impacts, including aiding food security. Read …

How we got to now: Why the US and Europe went different ways on GMOs

November 9th, 2015 / The conversation, UK

There is a myth that circulates: Americans accepted genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food supply without question, while the more precautionary Europeans rejected them. But GMOs went through a period of significant controversy in the US during the early years starting in the 1980s. A boomerang effect is only …

SA is world’s 9th largest GM crop producer

November 6th, 2015 / News24.com, South Africa

South Africa was the world’s ninth largest producer of genetically modified (GM) crops, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. Briefing the media on a Cabinet decision to approve the country’s Third National Report on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Radebe said the country remained …

Nigeria’s first confined field trial of genetically improved rice

November 5th, 2015 / This Day, Nigeria

The Federal Government, and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), on Wednesday commissioned Nigeria’s first Confined Field Trial (CFT) facility for the production of a genetically improved African rice variety. It is known as Nitrogen-Use Efficient, Water-Use Efficient and Salt Tolerant (NEWEST) rice and is aimed at addressing the country’s …

Pineapple genome unlocked

November 4th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

Pineapple has been cultivated for more than 6,000 years, thriving in water-starved environments. To understand how pineapples grow to be juicy under such conditions, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took a closer look at the plant’s genes and genetic pathways. Read …

We need the farms of the future today

October 26th, 2015 / Newsweek, US

The world population is expected to grow to 9.6 billion by 2050, and according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), if we want to avoid mass malnutrition, we’re going to have to up our food production by 70 percent by 2050. The problem is most …

How EU countries opting out of GMOs affect the rest of the world

October 12th, 2015 / Science 2.0

For the EU countries that are opting out of GM, not much changes in terms of current farming practice, and the decision has no real cost to their citizens. It does; however, deny many EU farmers potentially valuable options in the future, particularly as the science of genetic engineering advances. …

Biotech strategies to enhance plants’ natural response to drought

October 2nd, 2015 / ISB News Report, US

How do plants deal with flood and drought? They cope by triggering different strategies. Water deficit and water excess are major factors affecting plants yield worldwide. To cope with such factors, plants trigger physiological and biochemical changes allowing them to survive for a limited period of time. See …