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Traditional breeding alters maize composition more than stacking transgenic events

April 20th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Dow AgroSciences LLC researchers, led by Rod A. Herman, evaluated the impact of crossing (stacking) genetically modified (GM) events on maize grain biochemical composition and compared it with the impact caused by generating non-GM hybrids.
The compositional similarity of seven GM stacks containing event DAS-Ø15Ø7-1 was compared to their corresponding non-GM …

Uganda: Armyworm – how prepared are we?

April 12th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Joseph Mayengo a smallholder farmer at Manja Village Kisekka Sub-county in Lwengo District suddenly discovered that his maize crop was under attack by strange looking caterpillars.
They had perforated holes in the leaves and in the stems, and it was clear that there was little chance for …

Blow to Kenya’s food security situation as armyworms invade farms

April 11th, 2017 / News Ghana

Kenya’s food security situation faces a fresh threat as armyworms invade maize farms in different parts of the east African nation.
The country is currently grappling with a serious food crisis mainly caused by poor rains that has seen prices rise considerably, with a 2kg tin of dry maize going …

Seed shortage: a hidden crisis limiting Uganda’s prosperity

April 11th, 2017 / The Sunrise, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports:
The ongoing rains in most parts of the country will likely go without being optimally used because farmers are unable to access sufficient quantities of quality seeds for the important staple foods like maize, beans, bananas, cassava and sweet potatoes.
The latest blow comes from the government’s …

Kenyan youth farmers call for adoption of WEMA BT maize

April 6th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Kenyan youth farmers have rallied behind researchers in urging government to allow commencement of National Performance Trials (NPTs) for the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Bt maize. The farmers were speaking during the 2017 agri-biotech forum held at University of Embu, eastern Kenya on March 29-30, 2017.
While expressing his …

Why GMO crops need to be embraced

April 5th, 2017 / The Standard, Kenya

In the onset of a new system, persons who have benefited from the older systems often vehemently oppose change.
While this assertion by Niccolo Machiavelli is almost trite, we still painfully await a change of heart by our policy makers. This declaration applies to all fields, where the adoption of genetically …

The army worm disaster

April 5th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: The armyworm was mentioned in this column on February 18. Back then it was referred to as a threat that we faced since it had been reported to have invaded countries such as South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and even forced the …

Latin American native maize reveals adaptation secrets

March 21st, 2017 / SciDev.net

An international team of scientists identified a hundred genes that influence adaptation to the latitude, altitude, growing season and flowering time of nearly 4,500 native maize varieties in Mexico and in almost all Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Creole — or native — varieties of maize are derived from improvements made …

Farmers in panic as strange caterpillars ravage maize gardens

March 21st, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

The onset of the planting season for farmers growing the maize crop in Luweero District is at crossroads with many farmers already counting losses after losing the crop to strange pesticide resistant caterpillars.
Luweero District Agriculture Officer, Ms Sarah Namubiru describes the pesticide resistant caterpillars as strange and rare because of …

Farmers abandon maize for drought-resistant crops

March 21st, 2017 / The Star, Kenya

As the drought continues to ravage parts of the country, farmers in Makueni have nothing to worry about since they have millet, sorghum and green grams to eat and sell.
Samuel Mutune, a father of seven, says he grew maize for many years but that the harvests were poor due to …