In the news...

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 …

WRI: GMOs and gene editing can help improve crop breeding to boost yields to feed the world

December 13th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A new report from the World Resources Institute The says that there is no silver bullet in producing enough food sustainably, but it offers a five-course menu of solutions to ensure feeding everyone without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation, or exacerbating poverty. WRI estimates that feeding the world sustainably while reducing …

World’s first honey bee vaccine seeks to save dying pollinators

December 12th, 2018 / Bloomberg, US

A growing number of honey bees die each year due to pesticides, vanishing habitats, poor nutrition and climate change, with potentially disastrous consequences for agriculture and natural diversity.
Now, scientists at the University of Helsinki have developed the first edible vaccine against microbial infections, hoping to save at least some of …

Nigeria ready to adopt biotechnology in cowpea production – official

December 11th, 2018 / The Eagle, Nigeria

Rose Gidado, the Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa says Nigeria is ready to adopt bio-technology in boosting production of cowpea.
Gidado made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.
Bio-technology is a term adopted by international convention to refer to …

Expectations from the genetic Bill

December 11th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes
Last week Parliament passed the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill 2018 after a long struggle.
Since 2008 when Uganda got the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy there has been a need to get a law to guide the implementation of that policy.
Finally the law is available and, …

Sustainable hybrid seed sector key to Africa’s Green Revolution

December 10th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Africa’s demand for food will more than double by 2050, driven by population growth and rapid urbanisation.
A growing population is not the only challenge. Africa has to contend with new enemies such as climate change and the traditional ones such as pests, poor infrastructure and post-harvest losses.
Some years back, increased …

The future of food: beating the heat with genome-edited crops

December 7th, 2018 / The Mainichi, Japan

Wheat with DNA tweaked to beat the heat, and redesigned rice that can flourish in hot, dry conditions. Work is now underway to bring these kinds of genetically edited foods to dinner tables around the world, with the new rice estimated to be in bowls by about 2039, all necessitated …

Ugandan researchers look to biotechnology to bolster food production in the face of climate change

December 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
As the impact of climate change continues to grow worldwide, farmers are likely to face new challenges in the form of emerging pests, diseases, lengthy droughts and floods. The planet’s shifting weather patterns may very well represent the biggest health and food security threat of the …

‘Switching off’ genes could speed efforts to breed disease-resistant plants

December 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Researchers from [the French Agricultural Research Centre CIRAD] recently showed that inactivating a gene, RECQ4, leads to a three-fold increase in recombination in crops such as rice, pea and tomato …. This discovery, published in the journal Nature Plants could speed up plant breeding and development of varieties better suited …

Young Ugandan farmers push for homegrown GMO crops

December 5th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Though Uganda’s Parliament passed a biosafety bill last week, it remains unclear whether it will benefit a coalition of young cassava farmers who are demanding access to genetically modified (GM) crops.
Some Ugandan scientists have said the bill’s strict liability clause will effectively stifle the research and commercial release of crops …