In the news...

Delay to accept GM technology not good for us

January 27th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michale Ssale writes, “Finally, our neighbour, Kenya, is set to lift the ban on imports of genetically modified (GM) food crops by the end of this month. The hesitation to accept GM technology in most countries is premised on the fear that it poses a danger to health …

Most African smallholder farmers mainly buy seeds through informal markets

January 23rd, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Small, family farmers in Africa purchase more than half of their seeds every year through local markets and other informal sources – neglected outlets that present a major opportunity for improving access to better crop varieties crucial to dealing with climate, nutrition, and other production challenges in a region where …

Farmer of the year advocates a ‘Third Way’

January 20th, 2016 / Seedstock, US

Farmer of the Year, Amy Hepworth, says, “the organic movement is wonderful. It got us off the worst chemicals, and we’ve never gone back. Right now we have the most abundant and safest food supply in human history. We need to continue to employ applied science to improve and heal …

Digging for seeds of truth in GMO debate

January 18th, 2016 / CBS News, US

By some estimates, 80 percent of all processed foods — cereals, baby formula, canned soups and more — contain at least one GMO, or Genetically Modified Organism. But whether GMOs are safe and whether they should be listed on the label has led to a very big food fight. …

Mark Lynas: Yes to GMOs, mandatory labeling

January 13th, 2016 / Farm Futures, US

Mark Lynas used to through mud, clandestinely seeking to destroy European GMO crops. “As a scientist, you must have data to back up what you’re saying,” Lynas said. “And I realized I wasn’t holding myself to the same scientific standards on GMOs as I applied to my research on climate …

To feed and sustain the world, we need common ground

January 13th, 2016 / Huffington Post, UK

We know we need to grow more food. We know we can’t keep converting our forests and grasslands to create more farm land, because if we do so it is at the long term environmental peril of the earth. We know we need to reduce food waste, in our farming …

Can GM help quench crops’ thirst?

January 13th, 2016 / Ensla, US

The application of GM technology to boosting drought resistance could be an important addition to the toolkit humans can use to adapt to climate change, which is expected to cause longer and more frequent droughts in many of the world’s important food-growing regions. Read …

Nitrogen-fixing tech aiding legume yields

January 5th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

A low-cost nitrogen fixing technology for legume crops is being given to small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe to improve national food and nutrition security. The Chemistry and Soil Research Institute in Zimbabwe is distributing sachets that contain inoculated Rhizobia bacteria — a technique for adding bacteria to a carrier medium to …

Six key messages wrapping up the International Year of Soils

January 5th, 2016 / FAO, Italy

In 2015 we celebrated the “International Year of Soils” and with good reason. Soil sustains all our agricultural and livestock food production, wood for fuel production, filters water so that we can drink it and fish can live in it. We also use it for construction – therefore it sustains …

Resurrection plants could lead to more drought-tolerant crops

January 3rd, 2016 / AgWeb.com

Recent genome sequencing of Oropetium grass has given researchers a blueprint in distinguishing genes related to phenomenal plant resilience. The bizarre self-preservation abilities of resurrection plants like Oropetium hold tremendous promise toward engineering stronger drought-tolerance in crops, and the effects soon could reach farmland. Read …