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Food security: Africa should be the answer

November 28th, 2018 / NEWS24, South Africa

Africa is the only continent suited to commercial agriculture with underutilised land. Neither Europe nor North America has “spare” land available. It is therefore up to us to do more with what we have.
When it comes to exploring science and technology in the interest of increased productivity and yield, farmers …

Can genetic engineering deliver a natural microbial fertilizer for crops?

November 27th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

At the turn of the previous century, German scientists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch got all the credit for finding a way to convert atmospheric nitrogen (in its very stable N2 form) into a charged ion that could be “fixed” or applied as a chemical fertilizer. Both eventually were awarded …

Genetic modification technology benefits smallholder farms

November 27th, 2018 / The Daily Californian, US

Genetically modified organisms have the capacity to greatly benefit farmers, consumers and the environment. Genetic modifications to crop plants can reduce the need for pesticide application, improve nutritive aspects of foods and provide ecological services. The genetically modified papaya provides an excellent example of how smallholder farmers have benefitted from …

Fight crop diseases for food security

November 27th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Fertiliser use, irrigation, mechanisation, and better agronomic practices will continue to play a big role in transforming agriculture, but farmers should be helped to grow pest resistant crops, herbicide resistant crops, and drought tolerant crops developed through modern biotechnology. Read …

Legumes offer hope for food security, poverty eradication

November 22nd, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Legumes food crop farming can end Kenya’s perennial food insecurity and generate income for farmers. This follows the coming up of resolutions by researchers and scientists that will help African countries gain food security and sustainable development at the seventh international food legume research conference in Marrakech, Morocco recently.
Scientists said …

DIY crop speed breeding to boost drought research

November 22nd, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) Senior Research Fellow Dr. Lee Hickey said that plant speed breeding could be part of the solution to minimize the devastating effects of drought and climate change on crops in the future. He added that the technique can enable researchers and plant …

How GMO crops can be engineered to ‘rehydrate’ after intense drought

November 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan have found that the protein NGA1 is critical for plants to have normal responses to dehydration. In plants, dehydration response is regulated by the hormone abscisic acid (ABA). Successful rehydration requires accumulation of ABA during the early stages of …

Gene silencing could ‘fool’ plants into surviving harsh environments

November 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

By temporarily silencing the expression of a critical gene, researchers fooled soybean plants into sensing they were under siege, encountering a wide range of stresses. Then, after selectively cross breeding those plants with the original stock, the progeny “remember” the stress-induced responses to become more vigorous, resilient and productive plants, …

Edible GM cotton could supply protein to 600 million people daily

November 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

It turns out cotton seed is a great source of protein, except it’s currently toxic for humans. Cotton naturally produces gossypol, which is essentially an insecticide. While that helps the plant fight off insects, it also makes it poisonous to humans and most animals. But scientists at Texas A&M University …

Can wasting less food between the farm and consumer improve nutrition?

November 9th, 2018 / FoodTank

In Nigeria, one promising tactic for getting nutrient-dense fresh fruits and vegetables to communities with high rates of malnutrition starts with a simple swap: trading traditional raffia baskets for plastic crates when transporting tomatoes from farm to market.
“These perishable foods, you’ve got to move them, and they’ve got to get …