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Obasanjo wants biotechnology to end hunger globally

May 25th, 2018 / Guardian, Nigeria

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has canvassed the adoption of biotechnology in agriculture to end hunger across the world.
“If agricultural yields remains the same, we would need to cultivate more than double the present amount of land to feed that population. That is 82 per cent of our total land area …

Talking Biotech: What’s keeping disease-resistant GMO bananas from Ugandan farmers?

May 25th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

POD CAST
Those that live in the affluent countries of the West have little clue of the challenges of farming in the Developing World. In this special episode, Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California Davis interviews three experts that understand food security in their respective countries. Emma Naluyima …

Musa project develops hybrids of local Tanzanian cooking banana “Mchare”

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

The banana breeding team at IITA in partnership with the national research team in Tanzania, has developed hybrids of one of the most popular cooking bananas in Tanzania and part of the East African Highland cooking banana called “Mchare.” These hybrids were bred with disease-resistant wild bananas and are high …

These CRISPR-modified crops don’t count as GMOs

May 23rd, 2018 / The Conservation

Yi Li, Professor of Plant Science, University of Connecticut, writes:
To feed the burgeoning human population, it is vital that the world figures out ways to boost food production.
Increasing crop yields through conventional plant breeding is inefficient – the outcomes are unpredictable and it can take years to decades to create …

Genetically modified foods and the search for food security In Nigeria

May 23rd, 2018 / Nigeria News.net

A maize farmer somewhere in Northern Nigeria is observing his crops. He couldn’t help but be amazed at the performance of the crops this planting season.
All things being equal, he is going to have his best harvest in a long time. This is in spite of the fact this has …

Where GM meets GE

May 21st, 2018 / Eureka Alert, AAAS, US

A new field trial of genetically modified Camelina, announced today by Defra, will be accompanied by one of the world’s first field trials of a genome-edited crop.
Genome edited (GE) crops will be sown in a field this month for the first time in the UK as part of an experimental …

Genetic engineering of plants contributes to the fight against malaria

May 21st, 2018 / European Scientist

A team of mainly Chinese researchers – the first author is Qian Shen and the reference author is Kexuan Tang – have just published “The Genome of Artemisia annua Provides Insight into the Evolution of Asteraceae Family and Artemisinin Biosynthesis”
The researchers declare modestly that they are reporting on a …

How planting trees can protect cocoa plants against climate change

May 18th, 2018 / The Conversation

Worldwide, areas suitable for cocoa production are predicted to shrink by up to 20-30% over the next 30 years. This is because cocoa trees are already struggling to cope with drier, hotter conditions – attributed in large part to climate change.
Chocolate, one of the most popular and widely consumed products …

African conference confirms growing strength of plant disease research network

May 18th, 2018 / University of Bristol

Delegates from ten African countries joined counterparts from the UK at the CONNECTED Virus Network Africa Launch Conference, which took place in Kampala, Uganda.
Bristol University-based CONNECTED team members Dr Diane Hird and Richard Wyatt attended to co-ordinate operations along with local National Crops Resources Research Institute staff, following pre-conference organisation …

Cassava breeding hasn’t improved photosynthesis or yield potential

May 16th, 2018 / University of Illinois, US

Video: University of Illinois researchers analyzed four cassava cultivars preferred by African farmers and found unimproved varieties photosynthesize better than varieties selected for improved pest and disease resistance. …