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Gene banks are forever

May 18th, 2017 / Crop Trust

There have been mergers and name changes, budget crunches and strategic re-thinks for the individual centers. And, from 1971 when it was founded, lots of structuring and restructuring – with the obligatory accompanying re-branding – for the club to which they all belong. I remember when it used to be …

Overexpression of galactinol synthase gene improves drought tolerance in rice

May 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Enhancing drought tolerance without grain yield penalty has been a challenge for plant breeders and crop improvement. A team of researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia, and various universities and research institutions in Japan evaluated the Arabidopsis thaliana galactinol synthase 2 gene (AtGolS2). The team overexpressed …

Efforts towards improving sorghum varieties

May 16th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

In Ethiopia, teff, wheat, maize, sorghum and barley are grown on nearly three quarters of the total arable plots of land. The production and productivity of these crops have shown increment due to the implementation of rigorous researches, provision of various inputs, and application of modern agricultural technologies among other …

Adapting to climate smart agriculture by Ugandan farmer

May 15th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: It is now a fact that we are locked into global warming and the current changes in climatic patterns have a direct impact on rainfall variability as well as the frequency of weather extremes. Our TV screens have displayed dying livestock due to severe drought …

Nominate someone for the Africa Food Prize – could it be YOU

May 12th, 2017 / Africa Food Proze

The nomination process for the Africa Food Prize starts with nominations being sent to the Africa Food Prize Secretariat. The Africa Food Prize Secretariat then assists the Africa Food Prize Committee to screen and select candidates.
The Africa Food Prize Committee chooses the Africa Food Prize winner by unanimous vote. The …

Video: Obama on GMOs — ‘Humanity has always engaged in genetic modifications’

May 12th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In one of his first public appearances since leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama opened up about his views on GMOs and gene-edited food — topics he shied away from during his eight years in office.
After a quick $3.26 million speech at the Seeds & Chips Global Food …

Tackling hidden hunger – biofortification

May 8th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Back in the 60s, the Green Revolution changed the way we looked at food, both in terms of growing and eating. The focus was simply this — to increase production of staples so no one would go hungry.
Today, most of us do get enough to eat, in terms of calories, …

How ancient crops could counteract climate change effects

May 7th, 2017 / Phys.org

Farmers who grow single crops are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but now researchers are resurrecting ancient crop varieties to encourage diversity and offset the risks of extreme weather.
Intensively growing single crops for commercial purposes is the most common farming practice in Europe. These so-called cash crops …

Huge opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness for graduate African youths

May 7th, 2017 / AfDB.org

There are huge business opportunities for graduated African youths in agriculture and agribusiness. That’s was the consensus of the two-day African Youth Agripreneurs Forum held in Ibadan, Nigeria, from April 25-26, 2017.
However, helping African youths to invest in agricultural production and the agricultural value chain is all too often discussed …

Modified soybeans yield more in future climate conditions

May 5th, 2017 / Phys.org

By 2050, we will need to feed 2 billion more people on less land. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide levels are predicted to hit 600 parts per million—a 150% increase over today’s levels—and 2050 temperatures are expected to frequently match the top 5% hottest days from 1950-1979. In a three-year field study, …