In the news...

Revolutionising the way we build food and nutrition security in Africa

October 25th, 2017 / BizCommunity

Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as “orphan crops” shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research on these crops mainly to …

‘Supercharging’ rice with maize gene increases yields by 50 per cent

October 25th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

To improve photosynthesis in rice and increase crop yields, scientists working on the Oxford University-led C4 Rice Project have, by introducing a single maize gene to the plant, moved towards ‘supercharging’ rice to the level of more efficient crops.
Rice uses the C3 photosynthetic pathway, which in hot, dry environments is …

Peptides could revolutionise how food is grown

October 25th, 2017 / ABC News, Australia

Scientists say the discovery of a group of hormones in plants could revolutionise food production by improving yields.
The Universities of Queensland and Sydney collaborated on the study, which has found about 130 CLE peptide hormones in legumes that were essential to growth and development.
Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Integrative …

Nigeria bio-safety chief defends GMOs

October 16th, 2017 / Premium Times, Nigeria

Despite the criticism that has trailed the used of Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs, Nigeria’s bio-safety chief has defended the use of such crops.
Rufus Egbegba, who heads the National Bio-safety Management Agency, NBMA, said GMOs are the same conventional crops but improved versions for the purpose of sustainability and improved yields.
Rufus …

Pearl millet genes hold key to climate-proof cereals

October 16th, 2017 / SciDev.net

The key to breeding heat- and drought-tolerant rice, maize and wheat may lie in the ‘waxy biosynthesis’ genes of a related cereal, the pearl millet, according to a study by an international team of scientists.
In a study published in September in Nature Biotechnology, the scientists show the potential use of …

… on B4FA.org

October 14th, 2017

New on B4FA.org:
Blog: Brachiaria, the homecoming of African pasture grasses, Brachiaria grasses, which originated primarily from natural grasslands in Africa, do not look particularly remarkable. Yet these forage species for feeding farm animals are the most widely used in the tropics. Because Brachiaria is adapted to acidic, low-fertility soils and is much more …

Uganda biotech law opens door to disease-resistant GM crops

October 13th, 2017 / Cornell Alliance for Science, US

Joan Conrow and Mark Lynas write:
Genetically engineered crops that promise to benefit both farmers and consumers are poised to enter Uganda’s marketplace now that its Parliament has adopted a law to regulate agricultural biotechnology.
Ugandan plant scientists are already in the later stages of conducting field trials for banana varieties that …

Genetically modified organisms are improvements on conventional crops

October 12th, 2017 / Vanguard, Nigeria

The National Bio-safety Management Agency (NBMA) says Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are the same conventional crops but improved versions for the purpose of sustainability and improved yields
Dr Rufus Egbegba, the Director-General of the agency made the clarification in an interview on Monday in Abuja. According to him, GMOs are not …

Ghana aims to regain top spot in cocoa production

October 12th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Ghana is home to the world’s favourite cocoa beans. They’re bigger in size, have a higher butter content and superior flavour – all qualities which make Ghana’s cocoa the world standard against which all cocoa is measured.
But while cocoa used to be the biggest foreign exchange earner for the West …

Genetically improving nutritional value of corn could benefit millions

October 12th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

In a discovery that could benefit millions of people in the world, Rutgers University scientists have found a way to enhance the nutritional value of corn by inserting a bacterial gene that causes it to produce the key nutrient methionine. Read more …