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Securing East Africa’s cassava

July 19th, 2018 / CGIAR

IITA is eliminating viruses from cassava germplasm so it can safely be transported from East Africa to Nigeria, where it’ll be conserved & made available to breeders & farmers. Read …

Crispr can speed up nature – and change how we grow food

July 18th, 2018 / Wired

It took thousands of years for humans to breed a pea-sized fruit into a beautiful beefsteak tomato. Now, with gene editing, scientists can change everything. Read …

Tanzania: device to fight cassava diseases launched

July 12th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

A new tool to fight cassava diseases using an artificially intelligent machine has been launched.
Nuru, as the device is known, has been developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University of the United States.
The machine, according to the institute’s official, can accurately …

Genome editing in agriculture: methods, applications, and governance

July 12th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) released an Issue Paper titled Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance. CAST explains that genome editing is a powerful new method that enables unprecedented control over genetic material and offers the opportunity to make rapid advances that influence agricultural practices. …

Will Africa embrace CRISPR gene editing and the next phase of the biotech revolution?

July 12th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Scientists around the world are increasingly turning to the promise of CRISPR gene editing to tackle any number of problems facing humanity.
These efforts may have started in the US, Europe and Asia, but they have since spread to African nations. South African scientists are exploring the …

GMOs are not dangerous

July 10th, 2018 / Modern Ghana

Former National President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana Mohammed Adams Nasiru has dismissed concerns Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) are harmful to humans.
In a clear deviation from the position of the association he used to lead, Mr. Nasiru insisted GMOs don’t pose any danger to humans and no one …

Kenya, Uganda economies ride on agriculture to boost growth

July 10th, 2018 / The East African

Agriculture was the main driver for the Kenyan and Ugandan economies in the first three months of this year, expanding almost 10 per cent from 2017.
Kenya said its economy expanded by 5.7 per cent in the first three months of 2018, compared with 4.5 per cent over the same period …

Seed industry sees plant breeding innovation as key to sustainable agriculture

July 6th, 2018 / AgroNews

“Innovations in plant breeding are enabling us to develop plants that meet the needs of a changing world,” said President of the International Seed Federation (ISF) Jean-Christophe Gouache at the opening ceremony of the ISF World Seed Congress 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. “This is down to the ‘power of genetics,’” …

We should reward scientists for communicating to the public

July 6th, 2018 / Scientific American

Esther Ngumbi, postdoctoral researcher at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Entomology Department and a Food Security Fellow with Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship, writes:
Scientific discoveries that can improve people’s lives and change the world should be communicated widely with the public, but too often that valuable knowledge is locked …

Helping plants remove natural toxins could boost crop yields by 47%

July 5th, 2018 / BizCommunity

Can you imagine the entire population of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom and France going hungry? You don’t need to imagine. That is exactly what happens every day when an estimated 815 million people around the globe go hungry. In the short term, the problem is …