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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 …

Managing resistance of African stem borer to BT-maize

July 5th, 2018 / Farmers' Weekly

Andri Visser, a doctoral student at the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University, explores how assumptions about the behaviour of the African stem borer affect the resistance management strategy and sustainability of Bt-maize.
he African stem borer has proved a formidable foe for maize producers in South Africa. …

AU to support research to combat pests threat in agriculture

July 5th, 2018 / Prensa Latina

The African Union (AU) will contribute to the development of research to prevent the threat posed to the farmers of the continent by the increasing presence of the corn borer, it was known today.
In this regard, they will collaborate closely with international scientists from the Insect Institute of Nairobi, Kenya, …

Diversify sweet potato to entice youth to agriculture

July 3rd, 2018 / BizCommunity

Scientists should conduct more research to create sweet potato varieties that can withstand floods and help turn the crop into other products to attract the youth to agriculture, a meeting has heard. The meeting assembled over 100 research scientists and agricultural economists from sub-Saharan Africa to review progress on sweet …