In the news...

Edible cottonseed research at Texas A&M receives key USDA approval

October 22nd, 2018 / Texas A&M, US

Cottonseed ground into flour to deliver protein to millions of people, a project to which Dr. Keerti Rathore has devoted more than half his professional career, is one step closer to reality.
Rathore, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant biotechnologist in College Station, received word that Texas A&M’s “Petition for Determination …

Quality seed, key in achieving agricultural productivity

October 19th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Kenya’s ambition to become a newly industrialized middle-income country is enshrined in the government’s national long-term development policy, Vision 2030.
The delivery of this target is driven by a series of medium-term plans. But most importantly, the ‘Big Four Agenda’, which seeks to attain positive agricultural transformation by increasing maize …

Genetic markers identify the sex of yams and accelerate breeding

October 19th, 2018 / CGIAR: Roots, Tubers and Bananas

Researchers have identified the genetic markers that distinguish the sex of yam plants, saving time and resources for future breeding efforts.
White Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is native to West Africa, where it has been a food security crop for centuries. As Africa is rapidly urbanizing, yams are now being grown …

How the science of biofortification grew from an idea to a food revolution

October 18th, 2018 / CGIAR

A major global success in nutrition in recent decades started with a simple idea from young CGIAR researchers back in the 1990s: What if we could breed vitamins and minerals into the staple crops that people consume daily?
The idea was biofortification, and the lead researcher was Dr. Howarth Bouis – …

First ever gene-edited wheat that produces high fibre flour could hit the market by 2020

October 17th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

The biotech firm Calyxt has completed the inaugural harvest of its high-fibre wheat product, the world’s first gene-edited, consumer-focused wheat product. The high-fibre wheat product is already the seventh Calyxt product that has been deemed non-regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ….
“The completion of these field trials for …

Uganda takes major strides in biotech capacity development

October 17th, 2018 / Sunrise

B4FA Fellow Hero Lutaaya reports on a move seen as a major step to help the country launch itself into the bio-economy.
Uganda has taken major steps forward in building her biotechnology and biosafety capacity especially over the past ten years in major areas such as human capital development, infrastructure as …

Wild cousins of finger millet show promise of parasite resistance

October 16th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Finger millet can be grown at altitudes ranging from sea level to over 2000 metres above sea level, can withstand drought, and has high levels of essential amino acids and micronutrients.
Dr Chrispus Oduori kneels amidst a sea of colorful plastic buckets in a screenhouse in Western Kenya and shifts some …

Fall army worm is here to stay unless a miracle happens

October 16th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Speaking at a meeting on disaster risk management in Tunis, Monday Ahonsi, the fall army worm portfolio manager at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), said it was important that stakeholders in agriculture address early enough the strategies by which every country will counter the spread of the pest. …

Why Kenya should shift to genetically modified maize

October 15th, 2018 / CropNuts

The use of Bt maize is not a silver-bullet solution to at our food insecurity challenges, but has potential to contribute towards reduced suffering of the food deficits especially due to maize. By deploying Genetically Modified Maize products, Kenya has the potential of solving food insecurity problems. KALRO has done …

Vitamin A-rich bananas offer new hope to address vitamin A deficiency

October 12th, 2018 / CGIAR

Researchers in East Africa are introducing banana varieties from across the world to address severe vitamin A deficiency. Taste tests help to identify and fast track new varieties that consumers prefer.
Vitamin A deficiency is high in the East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC and Kenya, ranging from …