In the news...

Institute releases new varieties of maize, sorghum, groundnut

May 5th, 2016 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

The Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru, Zaria in Kaduna State has released a number of new varieties of maize that might interest farmers across the country. Dr Aminu Ibrahim, Head of Extension unit of the institute, who spoke with Daily Trust at the just concluded National Agricultural show, …

RMRDC supports production of Bt cotton in Nigeria

May 3rd, 2016 / elkurebedotcom, Nigeria

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has joined a league of other GMO advocates to support the production of genetically modified, also known as Bt Cotton in Nigeria.In a letter to the Country Representative of Monsanto, a global seed company, signed by the Director General of the …

Researchers evolve new toxin to target agricultural pests

April 30th, 2016 / Arstechnica, UK

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops have been one of the most successful applications of genetic engineering in agriculture. The crops carry a gene that encodes a bacterial protein that kills insects that ingest it. While it’s possible to spray crops with the Bt toxin instead, farms that rely on Bt …

Global wheat breeding returns billions in benefits but stable financing remains elusive

April 29th, 2016 / World Bank, US

For 45 years, world-class scientists from two research centers of CGIAR – the world’s only global research system that focuses on the crops of most importance to poor farmers in developing countries – have battled the odds to provide wheat and nourish the world’s growing population. Their innovations have …

Bamboo: Africa’s untapped potential

April 27th, 2016 / AfricaRenewal, UN, US

It is a “wonder plant” that is uniquely blessed. Agronomists in Africa believe it can restore degraded landscapes while economists think it is a potential “green gold,” and a silver bullet for design and architecture that is already attracting a global market. Bamboo—the highly versatile giant grass that can …

‘I always expect a bumper harvest’

April 27th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: for Richard Ssendi Walakira of Busagala Village in Kabonera Sub-county, Masaka District, farming must be focussed on the returns that the farmer expects to get. “The crop or animal must be high yielding and it should be the right breed,” he says. Read …

Youth multiplying drought-resistant seed

April 27th, 2016 / The Ethiopian Herald

Youth farmers involved in multiplying drought and rust resistant new wheat seed variety are benefitting. Minaleh Agegnew, in his late 20s, is a resident of Kurmi Georgis Kebele of rural Gojam. He is landless. Together with his friends he rent a farmland at a cost of 3,000 Birr and …

Judge gene-edited crops by what they do

April 26th, 2016 / New Scientist, UK

Here’s a quick quiz for you. Which of the following would you regard as genetic modification?
A: Adding a gene from another organism
B: Inducing mutations with radiation or toxic chemicals
C: Making a single precise change to an organism’s genome
For me, the answer is D: All of the above. For the European …

Sub-Saharan Africa feeding itself after years of improving crop varieties

April 23rd, 2016 / Virginia Tech News, US

In regions of Africa, agricultural productivity is increasing and people are thriving. Overall, the prevalence of hunger declined by 30 percent between the early 1990s and 2015, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Investments in agricultural research are helping to alleviate crippling food shortages that racked the continent in …

African smallholders to get stress-tolerant maize

April 23rd, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: A new project that aims to provide farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa with stress-tolerant maize varieties has been launched to help the region boost food security. The Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project will apply conventional breeding techniques to develop maize varieties and hybrids capable …