In the news...

Uganda harvests another successful GM cassava trial

September 20th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak (CBSD) are still the most challenging constraints for cassava production in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Some Ugandans describe them as HIV for cassava. Although, there are CMD resistant cassava varieties, it is still a challenge since a good number of farmers have not …

Scientists intensify crop breeding

September 20th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Ugandan scientists have intensified efforts to breed key crops using conventional and biotechnology mechanisms in a bid for farmers to grow high yielding crops which are also resistant to pests and diseases.
Scientists from National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) have been breeding hybrid varieties of crops such …

Promoting bio-fortified crops

September 18th, 2017 / The Nation, Nigeria

Micronutrient malnutrition, also called hidden hunger, is dangerous to health.
To eradicate it, an international global organisation has taken up the challenge.
Spearheading the firms is HarvestPlus, a programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It is seeking to reduce micronutrient malnutrition through bio-fortification; by breeding new varieties of …

African leaders validate AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy at African Green Revolution Forum

September 8th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

African leaders and partners in the agriculture sector have validated the Feed Africa Strategy of the African Development Bank (AfDB) as a viable tool towards the transformation of agriculture on the continent.
President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire and his counterpart from Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, spoke glowingly of the AfDB’s …

These outstanding women have been named winners of 2017 Africa Food Prize

September 7th, 2017 / Ventures Africa

Leading advocate for nutrition, Hon. Prof. Ruth Oniang’o from Kenya, and agriculture entrepreneur Mme Maïmouna Sidibe Coulibaly from Mali were each awarded the 2017 Africa Food Prize at the African Green Revolution Forum taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Prize recognizes and puts a spotlight on shining examples of …

Sprouting grains for stronger bones: The power of finger millet

September 7th, 2017 / Farming First

The calcium-rich cereal finger millet has great potential for combatting calcium deficiency around the world, says Jerome Bossuet of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). Read …

Next generation Golden Rice could be driven by CRISPR gene editing

September 1st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Rice breeders today develop improved varieties from genetic breeding stock that has been advanced through thousands of generations and over many decades with conventional crossbreeding techniques, said Vibha Srivastava, professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences for the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas. Read …

Scientists make breakthrough in fight against cassava diseases

September 1st, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties. The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert. Read …

Delay in using GM crops making Africa lose benefits

August 29th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

The delay in approving the use of genetically modified (GM) crops is contributing to malnutrition and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, a study says.
Many African governments are grappling with opponents and proponents of GM crops, thus facilitating a delay in adoption, especially when uncertainty about GM crops are announced shortly before …

Multi-nutrient rice to fight malnutrition

August 10th, 2017 / Genomics Research

ETH researchers have developed a new rice variety that not only has increased levels of the micronutrients iron and zinc in the grains, but also produces beta-carotene as a precursor of vitamin A. This could help to reduce micronutrient malnutrition, or «hidden hunger», which is widespread in developing countries.
Nearly every …