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Uganda: ‘Disaster’: Scientists condemn GM law amendments

April 20th, 2018 / Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports:
A number of scientists have expressed shock and anger at the proposed restrictive requirements that were included in the long-awaited law on Biotechnology with some labelling them a disaster and a huge setback for the country.
The angry reactions come in the wake of a new report …

Scientists discover wild relative of tomato resistant to many insects

April 18th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the Wageningen University & Research have discovered a wild tomato species from the Galapagos Islands that is resistant to a wide range of insect pests. The wild tomato is closely related to the cultivated tomato, making the resilience easier to interbreed into the latter and ultimately make it …

Kenyan government banks on Bt cotton to revive textile industry

April 18th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Kenyan government is banking on adoption of Bt cotton to revive the textiles and apparel industry and increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the country’s GDP from the current 9.5 percent to 15 percent by 2022. Speaking during a national biotechnology stakeholders’ luncheon, adviser on textile value …

Can genetic maize rescue our farmers from Fall Armyworm?

April 16th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

Genetically modified maize, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) could be Kenya’s silver bullet in the fight against Fall Armyworm which has so far destroyed more than 200,000 acres of maize farms since 2016.
The biologically modified seed is incorporated with specific protein content that chocks the worm which continues to wreak havoc across …

Potential of GMOs to combat crop diseases converting skeptical Ugandan politicians

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Ugandan banana breeders at Kawanda have improved local banana varieties to resist the devastating banana bacterial wilt.
Potato breeders at Kachwekano in partnership with International Centre for Potato have improved the locally grown Victoria Potato variety to resist late blight disease so that potato farmers will not have to buy fungicides.
Cassava …

GMO crops can empower smallholder women farmers in Africa

April 9th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Efforts to get products of modern agricultural technologies, such as GM crops, into the hands of farmers have so far been stymied by the absence of an enabling national policy. Uganda’s National Biosafety Act, passed by Parliament in October 2017, was referred back to lawmakers by President Museveni, who cited …

GMO maize could halt devastating fall army worm invasion in Uganda—if it gets approved

April 4th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Mary Yangi trekked a long journey from South Sudan to Uganda’s West Nile region to settle as a refugee and, a few months later, into farming. Unlike others, who were reliant upon food rations from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the 59-year-old widow saw …

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 …

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 …

How USAID uses GMO crops to improve food security around the world

April 2nd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Pod cast: Angela Records, science advisor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), joins Chris Barbey to discuss how the organization uses biotechnology to develop local solutions to crop diseases and other issues impacting food security. USAID is committed to remedies in world food insecurity, with an emphasis …