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Heat tolerant durum wheat discovery to aid farmers in West Africa

November 27th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

The discovery of heat resilient durum wheat that could potentially boost the income for one million farming families in the extreme heat of famine-affected Senegal, Mauritania and Mali1 2017 and has been awarded the 2017 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security.
The genome fingerprinting research project, led by Dr Filippo …

Biotechnology for food security: hope over hype

November 27th, 2017 / Down to Earth

The words of Noble Laureate and father of the Green Revolution Norman Borlaug, “You cannot create a peaceful world on empty stomachs,” ring true in the current situation when we are faced with the mammoth task of feeding a growing population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.
Food insecurity is …

Use of CRISPR systems in plant genome editing: toward new opportunities in agriculture

November 21st, 2017 / Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, UK

Initially discovered in bacteria and archaea, CRISPR–Cas9 is an adaptive immune system found in prokaryotes. In 2012, scientists found a way to use it as a genome editing tool. In 2013, its application in plants was successfully achieved. This breakthrough has opened up many new opportunities for researchers, including the …

African seed body backs use of genetically engineered seeds

November 21st, 2017 / Xinhua, China

A continental seed body on Friday supported the coexistence of genetically modified (GMO) seeds and conventional ones.
The Secretary General of African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) Justin Rakotoarisaona said farmers stand to benefit greatly once they embrace modern agricultural tools.
“The use of improved GMO seeds is poised to make inroads into …

Why reducing post-harvest losses is a priority for Africa

November 21st, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

The the Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that one third of the food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted along the supply chain. Losses are even higher in Africa, and have a negative effect on food security, nutrition and economic stability. Jane Ambuko, a Senior Lecturer and …

Six steps to speed up climate-smart breeding in roots, tubers and bananas

November 20th, 2017 / CGIAR Roots, Tubers and Bananas

Research centers and their partners have made good progress toward harnessing the potential of roots, tubers and bananas to improve food security, nutrition and smallholder incomes, but scientists are concerned that impacts of climate change could undercut many of those gains in the coming years.
In response to this threat, a …

Nigeria stakeholders strategise on Bt cotton release

November 13th, 2017 / Scientific Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Alex Abutu writes:
Following the endorsement of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbe of the Bt Cotton project for Nigeria, stakeholders in the country are strategising for the eventual uptake and release of the Bollgard II cotton to farmers.
The Bollgard II cotton project which was …

GMO potatoes provide improved Vitamin A and E profiles

November 10th, 2017 / Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, US

Genetically modified crops have had no shortage of controversy over the years, much of it rooted in fear and the general lack of fundamental scientific knowledge. Yet researchers have pushed forward in developing crops that could help boost basic nutritional requirements for developing nations that rely heavily on foods that …

Experts root for quality seeds to boost food security

November 10th, 2017 / News Ghana

International agricultural experts called for establishment of a viable system for the production and supply of quality and high-yielding seeds to help boost food security in Africa.
The experts from the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Africa’s agricultural think tank said quality seeds are key solution to transforming Africa’s underdeveloped agricultural …

Farmers opt for GM cowpea?

November 10th, 2017 / News Ghana

Some farmers in Nyakpala in the Northern Region have opted for Biotech (Bt) Cowpea or Genetically Modified (GM) Cowpea, due its ability to withstand the most deadly pests that destroy cowpea in the area.
The farmers say they witnessed high yields due to the strength of the Bt Cowpea against the …