In the news...

Large NMBU project on seed security

November 7th, 2018 / Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Farmers’ access to seeds is the focus of a new project ‘Access to seeds: From emergencies to seed system development’, led by Ola Westengen and funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN).
Seeds are vital for food security and are a fundamental asset for the majority of rural communities in …

Thirteen nations call for ag policies supporting gene editing

November 7th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Thirteen nations have used the forum of the World Trade Organization to present a position paper supporting policies that advance agricultural innovation, including genome editing.
The United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Paraguay, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West …

Cultivating resilience to climate change

November 7th, 2018 / Food Tank

The Crop Trust is on a mission to improve biodiversity and protect farmers against climate change through their Crop Wild Relatives project.
Crop Trust joined with The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) in June on a five-day hunt for wild relatives of potatoes in Brazil. Having found two wild potato relatives …

Ghana prepares to commercialize its first GMO crop

November 6th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Ghanaian scientists have completed field trials on the pest-resistant Bt cowpea and will soon apply for commercial release of the country’s first genetically modified (GM) crop.
The GM crop is expected to help farmers dramatically reduce their use of pesticides, while also enjoying better yields of this important staple food.
Scientists said …

What’s wrong with bananas

November 6th, 2018 / Nautilus

Norman C. Ellstrand, distinguished professor of genetics at the University of California, Riverside where he holds the Jane S. Johnson Endowed Chair in Food and Agriculture, writes:
Of the important global crops, the banana is the most genetically uniform. A single cluster of nearly identical genotypes, the Cavendish subgroup, nearly …

New push in pipeline for acceptance of GMO seeds

November 5th, 2018 / IPP Media

THE Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) has joined farmers across the country in pushing for changes to existing agricultural laws to allow the use of genetically modified
organism (GMO) seed varieties because they are drought resistant and can’t be easily destroyed by pests.
This follows successful trials conducted at the TARI …

Ugandan scientists poised to release vitamin-fortified GMO banana

October 31st, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Ugandan scientists are eying a 2021 release date for genetically modified bananas fortified with vitamin A, provided the nation passes its biosafety law.
In 2005, Ugandan scientists began using the tools of biotechnology to breed bananas fortified with vitamin A. Their goal was to help rural families …

Biotech crops could make Kenya major cotton producer again

October 30th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Kenya has been losing at least 4,210 cotton farmers every year for the last 38 years due to low returns and importation of cheaper ready fabric from China and India. This translates to 160,000 farmers or 80 per cent of the estimated 200,000 farmers who practiced cotton farming in the …

Genetic search reveals key to resistance in global cotton pest

October 30th, 2018 / Phys.org

In the most recent battle in the unending war between farmers and bugs, the bugs are biting back by adapting to crops genetically engineered to kill them.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identifies a dominantly inherited mutation that confers resistance to engineered cotton …

A fight against vitamin A deficiency

October 30th, 2018 / Business Mirror, Philippines

‘THE soul, fortunately, has an interpreter—often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter—in the eye,” wrote Charlotte Bronte in her famed Jane Eyre. Marcus Tullius Cicero had the same view when he said: “The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.”
A survey was conducted …