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The world needs smart bananas

April 15th, 2019 / Fresh Plaza

Millions of people depend on bananas. However, their cultivation is very vulnerable to diseases and the effects of climate change. There is a pressing need for a new more resistant banana variety. To this end, on Monday, 8 April the Belgian University, KU Leuven, and Bioversity International signed an agreement. …

International project working to beat wheat rust

March 25th, 2019 / Weekly Times, Australia

A JOINT venture project between the CSIRO and a US foundation has had recent success with a field trial of a wheat variety stacked with five wheat rust resistance genes.

The collaboration between CSIRO and the University of Minnesota known as 2Blades has recently demonstrated strong field resistance to stem rust …

How genetic engineering can help Africa cope with climate change by tweaking crops, animals

March 3rd, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Climate change will have a dramatic impact on agricultural production in Africa.  Over the last century, temperatures across the continent increased by around 0.5 degrees Centigrade. If this trend continues as expected, extreme heat waves and droughts are likely to become more common. Climate estimates suggest that there could be an …

GM maize’s surprising benefit

February 25th, 2019 / Youtube.com

Reporter Joseph Opoku Gakpo tells the story of how African farmers are excited about GMO maize engineered to resist the destructive stem borer pest, which has also shown promising resistance to the devastating fall armyworm pest. Watch the …

FAO sounds alarm on Desert Locust outbreak

February 19th, 2019 / Africa News

Heavy rains and cyclones have triggered a recent surge in Desert Locust populations, causing an outbreak to develop in Sudan and Eritrea that is rapidly spreading along both sides of the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, FAO warned today.

The UN agency called on all the affected countries to …

Will a new pest beat transgenic corn to African farms?

December 13th, 2018 / Futurity

Bt corn could help farmers in Africa to combat an emerging pest capable of devastating their crops, but fear of GM crops in Africa has slowed adoption of the technology, says Walter Suza, an adjunct assistant professor of agronomy at Iowa State and a coauthor of the study.
“My hope is …

Galvanizing the momentum for community actions against the Fall Armyworm

December 11th, 2018 / reliefweb

Recognizing the enormity of the challenge the Fall Armyworm poses on smallholder farmers, government representatives and partners stressed the need to bolster a novel community-based approach being promoted in Eastern Africa to assist farmers and development agents at the frontline to identify and manage the spread of the pest.
In a …

Tech fall armyworm solutions winners recognised

November 21st, 2018 / The East African, Kenya

Two companies from the region have been rewarded for formulating digital solutions to the invasive fall armyworm.
Farm.ink, a Nairobi-based start-up, took the top prize of $150,000 for the most viable way to combat the pest, which has had devastating effects on maize farms in Africa. Farm.ink integrated a Fall Armyworm …

Plague of caterpillars threatening food crisis may be halted with safe pesticides

November 5th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

Plague of caterpillars threatening food crisis may be halted with safe pesticides
Study suggests biopesticides should be trialled to control the march of armyworm that’s destroying crops across the continent.
Experts have identified safer, effective pesticides they believe can control a plague of caterpillars that is devastating crops across Africa.
Many farmers …

Field trials of GM maize shows signs of withstanding stem borer and Fall armyworm

November 1st, 2018 / Daily News, Tanzania

TANZANIA’s second year of confined field trials of genetic modified maize is bearing fruit, as the crop has significantly shown signs of withstanding stem borer and fall armyworm attacks, compared to conventional maize varieties.
The confined field trials (CFT), which started in April 2016, are located in the semiarid area of …