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Kenya starts planting biotech cotton under national performance trials

June 14th, 2018 / ISAAA

Kenya is one step away from commercializing Bt cotton following the commencement of National Performance Trials (NPTs) to identify suitable varieties for different agro-ecological zones. This comes after the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) granted an Environmental Impact Assessment license to Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Fisheries Organization (KALRO) to undertake …

A tobacco-derived insect repellent – for crops

June 13th, 2018 / New Atlas

Although it’s associated with nasty cigarettes, the tobacco plant is also a potential source of vaccines, biofuel and antibiotics. Now, a chemical from the plant is also being used as a bug repellent for crops, which could replace eco-unfriendly insecticides.
One of the problems with insecticides is the fact that they …

What are the challenges facing modern farming around the world?

June 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

“Kenya is on the brink of embracing biotechnology in agriculture. On the brink. Now I’m ready to say something new. We’ve been on the brink for too long.”
These words, offered by Gilbert arap Bor, a Kenyan smallholder farmer and lecturer at the Catholic University of East Africa- Eldoret, illustrate the …

Vermiculture – fertilizing land, profiting youth in Ethiopia

June 12th, 2018 / AllArica.com

Vermiculture is creating more job opportunity for youth while fertilizing agricultural land Oromia State Agriculture and Natural Resource Bureau said.
The Bureau’s Land Fertilization Process Director, Elias Kedir, told The Ethiopian Herald that, findings have witnessed that Vermiculture is becoming profitable for both farmers and youth in the region. This method …

In a variable climate, good science pays

June 11th, 2018 / ACIAR

Climate variability significantly affects cropping productivity around the world, but perhaps nowhere more so than in eastern and southern African countries. Compounding this, low agricultural productivity and research capacity have historically led to chronic food insecurity.
Responding to this critical situation, ACIAR’s work over the past eight years in the region …

‘Sexy plants’ on track to replace harmful pesticides to protect crops

June 8th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

“Sexy plants” are on the way to replacing many harmful pesticides, scientists say, by producing the sex pheromones of insects which then frustrate pests’ attempts to mate.
Scientists have already genetically engineered a plant to produce the sex pheromones of moths and are now optimising that, as well as working on …

New app uLima will optimise the farming potential of Africa

June 6th, 2018 / BizCommunity

The uLima mobile platform, developed by Imperial Logistics company Resolve, provides farmers across Africa with access to a toolset, database and the latest market information with information on crops, seed, soil, livestock, agri-chemicals, weather updates and market prices, all at their fingertips.
“uLima allows for ease of reference to best practice …

Why not genetically engineered organic foods?

June 6th, 2018 / Washington Examiner, US

USDA’s arbitrary rules about what is permitted for the “organic” designation prohibit important advances in agriculture and food production, and they unnecessarily restrict consumer choice. That could be remedied by expanding what is permitted under the federal National Organic Standards, and this would be an opportune time.
The Organic Foods Production …

Candidate gene for drought tolerance found in wheat

May 30th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The calcineurin B-like protein (CBL)-interacting protein kinase (CIPK) signaling pathway responds to various abiotic stresses in plants. The research team of Xiao-Yu Cui and Yong-Tao Du from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences studied the CIPK23 gene from wheat (Triticum aestivum). Read more and for more detailed …

Golden Rice meets food safety standards in three global leading regulatory agencies

May 30th, 2018 / IRRI

GR2E Golden Rice, a provitamin-A biofortified rice variety, completed its third positive food safety evaluation, this time from the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). In an official response received by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on 24 May (EST), the US FDA concurred with IRRI’s assessment …