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Harvestplus flays report on GMO vitamin A cassava & maize

July 22nd, 2016 / This Day, Nigeria

HarvestPlus Nigeria has dismissed as “false and misleading” reports that vitamin A enriched cassava and maize are developed from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), saying not only are the claims erroneous but couched to distract Nigerians from the target of consuming more nutritious staples. HarvestPlus is an international research-based institution developing …

Ethiopia: Utilizing technology to increase productivity of crop farming

July 15th, 2016 / The Ethiopian Herald

Using biotechnology boosts productivity. Though the agricultural sector has been dominated by small scale type, the productivity of the sector has been increasing as a result of using the agricultural technologies. The utilization of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, pest, herbicides and irrigation plays considerable role in improving productivity. See …

GMO: African voices must be heard

July 1st, 2016 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Environmentalist Mark Lynas asks, “Who should decide which crops African farmers can grow? Should that decision be made by African farmers themselves or by politicians in faraway Europe?”. Read …

Growing hybrid banana revived my business

June 30th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

I have been a farmer for 25 years and it is from this that I have gained experience to diversify to other farming enterprises. But when I realised that I could not continue with the local banana varieties, I resorted to the hybrid one—M9, which is resistant to pests, diseases …

How science can genetically strengthen endangered plants and agriculture

June 29th, 2016 / Bizcommunity, South Africa

Plant biotechnology is increasingly being used to complement traditional screening and breeding practices. Plants can be grown in test tubes under controlled laboratory conditions. Advances in biochemistry and genetics have also ushered in an understanding of the factors that influence plant growth. Together these developments have created the opportunity to …

European Parliament double standard on GM crops: the saga of two elephants fighting.

June 28th, 2016 / Diran Makinde, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)-ABNE

The call, in a report made by the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, not to support genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa is unfortunate and an attempt to institutionalise poverty on the continent. The G7 group of nations’ joint initiative with …

Africa needs heroes – with ideas and vision

June 24th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

For most people, the notion of a hero conjures up images of brave individuals risking their lives for others, or “superheroes” from comic books or films, armed with supernatural powers. But what Africa needs, each and every day, are heroes of a different sort – “action heroes” with ideas and …

Crop breeding must speed up to keep up with climate change

June 24th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Crop yields will fall within the next decade due to climate change unless immediate action is taken to speed up the introduction of new and improved varieties, experts have warned. Dr Andy Jarvis, from CIAT (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture), said: “Investment in agricultural research to develop and disseminate new …

Soil immune responses

June 22nd, 2016 / Science, US

Soil microorganisms are central to the provision of food, feed, fiber, and medicine. Engineering of soil microbiomes may promote plant growth and plant health, thus contributing to food security and agricultural sustainability (1, 2). However, little is known about most soil microorganisms and their impact on plant health. Disease-suppressive soils …

New crop varieties ‘can’t keep up with global warming’

June 21st, 2016 / BBC, UK

Crops yields around the world could fall within a decade unless action is taken to speed up the introduction of new varieties. A study says temperatures are rising faster than the development of crop varieties that can cope with a warmer world. In Africa, researchers found that it can take …