In the news...

Aiming for aflatoxins

June 12th, 2018 / AgWeb

In the midst of rumors and anti-GMO rhetoric, one researcher is striving to use genetic modification to improve crop health as well as potentially save consumer lives. Aspergillus, which creates carcinogenic aflatoxin, can now be controlled through genetic modification.
Aflatoxins are found in corn, peanuts, cottonseed, milk, walnuts, pistachios and Brazil …

Ethiopia approves environmental release of Bt cotton and grants special permit for GM maize

June 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Government of Ethiopia is the latest African country to authorize cultivation of biotech crops by granting two landmark approvals for environmental release of Bt cotton and research trials on biotech maize. In a letter signed by the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change H.E. Gamado Dale to the …

Minimising further insect pests invasions in Africa

June 4th, 2018 / SciDev.net

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) recently offered prize money for the best and digital tools that can be used to help combat the fall armyworm (FAW), an invasive pest that has spread across Africa. The winners will be announced in the coming months.
Identified in over 35 African countries …

Kenyan farmers tackle poor soils, low yields with conservation agriculture

May 18th, 2018 / Farmers' Review Africa

To thousands of maize and beans farmers in Kenya a new low cost model of farming is improving their soil health and increasing their yields at a time when declining soil fertility, lack of access to inputs and increasing droughts has taken a toll on farm fields further fanning hunger …

Exploring the best tactics to combat fall armyworm outbreaks in Africa

May 8th, 2018 / The Conversation

Cereal farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing heavy losses due to the devastation by an invasive pest: the Fall army worm – Spodoptera frugiperda. In Africa it has caused huge losses to staple cereals, especially maize and sorghum, affecting food security and trade. Damage to maize alone is estimated to …

Africa struggles for weapons against armyworm curse

May 8th, 2018 / The Strats Times, Singapore

On farms across Africa, a seemingly innocuous brown and beige caterpillar is waging a silent war, devastating rural incomes and posing a major threat to the continent’s food supply.
In just two years, the so-called fall armyworm has colonised three-quarters of Africa, according to the British-based Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences …

WEMA maize shows promising resistance to destructive fall armyworm

April 27th, 2018 / Joy Online

Scientists have observed unexpected benefits in Mozambique’s Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) field trials that could well be a game changer in efforts to ensure Africa’s food security. Though the maize varieties were genetically engineered to withstand drought and the vicious stem borer pest, they’re also showing promising resistance …

A remarkable new technology that will diminish a global cancer threat from aflatoxin

April 26th, 2018 / Forbes

Aflatoxin is probably one of the single largest causes of cancer in the developing world – particularly in Africa. Recently, a Swiss, family-owned grain handling equipment company called Bühler has cooperated with Microsoft to develop a system which can process corn at a rate of 15 metric tons per hour and reject …

Mozambique looks to improved seeds as it struggles with the impacts of a changing climate

April 25th, 2018 / Alliance for Science

The National Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM) is developing a number of improved seeds to help farmers, including the drought-tolerant Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) varieties. Though the research is still in its early stages in Mozambique, scientists and other stakeholders are upbeat WEMA will make vast difference …

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 …