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Agricultural advances draw opposition that blunts innovation

June 29th, 2018 / Science, US

Scientists are using technology to expand global food production and ease its environmental impact, but advances are being challenged by claims that lack scientific evidence and raise public distrust and concern, a leading agricultural scientist told an American Association for the Advancement of Science audience.
Alison Van Eenennaam traced the advent …

Who is afraid of GMOs? Fear peddlers

June 28th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Margaret Karembu, Director of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) AfriCenter and Chair of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) – Kenya Chapter, writes:
The genetically modified organism (GMO) debate remains engulfed in a maelstrom of controversies. Sadly, what is largely a First-World debate continues to increasingly …

Popular rice variety gets extra gene power to fight bacterial attacks

June 27th, 2018 / The Hindu, India

Researchers at the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Rice Research have developed a new variety of the popular Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) rice that can resist bacterial blight disease.
Bacterial blight disease, which affects rice crop, is caused by bacteria, Xanthomonas oryzae, and drastically reduces rice productivity.
The high yielding ISM variety is …

WACCI urges government to scale-up agricultural research investment

June 27th, 2018 / GhanaWeb

Professor Eric Danquah, Founding Director, West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, has urged the government to scale-up agricultural research investment; to increase productivity and to ensure food security for the people.
More should also be done to transform WACCI into a world class agriculture innovations and entrepreneurship …

Can biotech crops solve the hunger crisis?

June 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

Is there a likely solution in sight for hunger? “I now say that the world has the technology—either available or well advance in the research pipeline—to feed on a sustainable basis a population of 10 billion people,” Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug pointed out. “The more pertinent question today …

African researchers identify four high-protein maize varieties resistant to or tolerant of Striga

June 21st, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A study by researchers from Africa identified four varieties of high-protein maize, which are resistant to, or tolerant of semi-parasitic weed, Striga.

The high-protein maize varieties would prove to be advantageous for both farmers and consumers around the globe. Many small farmers would not have to buy chemicals to control Striga …

Inside the genetically modified cassava research In Uganda

June 21st, 2018 / Business Focus, Uganda

On May 24, 2018, a few journalists and I visited National Crop Resources Research Institute in Namulonge, located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Kampala City.
The trip was to assess progress in research that entails developing Genetically Modified (GM) cassava that is resistant to Cassava Brown Streak Disease and Casssava …

Biofortification’s growing global reach

June 21st, 2018 / Harvest Plus

The diets of more than two billion people lack essential vitamins and minerals, making them vulnerable to disease and disability. But as our latest crop map shows, the global effort to end this hidden hunger is gaining momentum, thanks to hundreds of partners around the world.
To date, more than 290 …

Inter- and transdisciplinary research on yam systems for improved food security in West Africa

June 20th, 2018 / Open Access Government

Professor Emmanuel Frossard from ETH Zurich and his collaborators from Switzerland and West Africa experiment in the YAMSYS project, a novel approach for improved soil and crop management in yam systems.
Whereas food insecurity has decreased in West Africa, it remains a major problem. Many projects aiming at improving agricultural productivity …

Gene editing: building better blueprints, one gene at a time

June 20th, 2018 / LinkedIn

Ever since its introduction to the world over five years ago, a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 has been the scientific breakthrough that everyone is talking about. And while it’s the one generating the most buzz, CRISPR is just one of the gene-editing tools that scientists have been excitedly exploring over …