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Long-term study finds that the glyphosate does NOT cause cancer

November 13th, 2017 / The Scientist, US

A new study has found no conclusive link between exposure to glyphosate—the main ingredient in a popular weedkiller—and cancer.
The new study, which was seen by Reuters, draws on long-term data collected through the Agricultural Health Study. This has monitored the health of nearly 90,000 people in Iowa and North Carolina …

Modified maize that kills with RNA is given go-ahead in the US

June 30th, 2017 / New Scientist, UK

For the first time, a crop that produces an RNAi-based pesticide has got the green light.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved a genetically modified corn known as SmartStax Pro. In addition to producing two Bt toxins to kill any western corn rootworm larvae that try to eat it, the …

Aflasafe products tested in Ghana for aflatoxin control in maize and groundnut

June 19th, 2017 / Africa Rising

Aflatoxin contamination of maize and groundnut by Aspergillus section Flavi fungi is perennial in Ghana. Consumption of foods with high aflatoxin content can cause acute liver cirrhosis and death, while sub-lethal chronic exposure may cause cancer, stunting in children, immune system suppression, and impaired food conversion. Animal productivity likewise becomes …

Africa: how to produce more food with less damage to soil, water, forests

June 13th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Massive agriculture intensification is contributing to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and the level of greenhouse gas emission, the United Nations warns.
To achieve sustainable development we must transform current agriculture and food systems, including by supporting smallholders and family farmers, reducing pesticide and chemical use, and improving land conservation …

Talking Biotech: Plants that ‘protect themselves’ and reduce pesticide may be future of crop biotech

May 31st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project

While the technologies of genetic engineering are quite commonplace, it was not always the case. The scientists that blazed the trail hold tremendous history, and it is good to visit with them to understand where the technology came from and where it is going. Dr. Maurice Moloney was there in …

Empowering rural farmers with technologies for improved yields

May 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Smallholder farms dominate African agriculture, and most of them continue to employ traditional cultivation techniques but experts from the Sasakawa Global 2000 ask farmers to employ better farm technologies to solve the problem of food security by looking at the full length of the value chain. …

Global GM crops reduced farm chemical usage and CO2 emissions in 2016 boom year

May 9th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Examining the benefits of biotechnology, ISAAA reports that the adoption of biotech crops has reduced CO2 emissions equal to removing approximately 12 million cars from the road annually in recent years; conserved biodiversity by removing 19.4 million hectares of land from agriculture in 2015; and decreased the environmental impact with …

The army worm disaster

April 5th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: The armyworm was mentioned in this column on February 18. Back then it was referred to as a threat that we faced since it had been reported to have invaded countries such as South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and even forced the …

Shocking encounter with fall army worms

March 21st, 2017 / The Sunrise, Uganda

About a week ago, my wife Esther brought my attention to an attack in our little maize garden. She urged me to spray the tender plants having detected damage on the leaves on the crop that is just three weeks now.
I hesitantly accepted to spray against the feeling that it …

CRISPR, microbes and more are joining the war against crop killers

March 17th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Resistance to conventional pesticides — among insects, weeds or microbial pathogens — is common on farms worldwide. CropLife International, an industry association based in Brussels, supports efforts that have counted 586 arthropod species, 235 fungi and 252 weeds with resistance to at least one synthetic pesticide (see ‘The rise of …