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US$4 million project to control maize lethal necrosis

January 2nd, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

A new project has been launched to control the spread of a lethal viral disease which affects maize yields and threatens food security in many Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The project for tackling maize lethal necrosis (MLN), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was launched at a …

Achieving a yield revolution in major food

January 1st, 2016 / Business Today, India

World renowned geneticist M.S.Swaminathan says “new frontiers of the mind and technology are before us, and if they are pioneered with the same vision, boldness and drive with which the battle against food shortage was fought through the green revolution, we can achieve the goal of zero-hunger sooner than generally …

Sorghum height research offers insight for wider crop improvement

December 21st, 2015 / Feed navigator.com

Tracking height traits in sorghum plants may boost develop of better preforming sorghum and offer lessons for improving other feed crops. Read …

Protecting plants’ genetic resources for agriculture

December 18th, 2015 / The Namibian

Efforts are afoot to conserve and sustainably use plants as genetic resources for food and agriculture in Namibia. The Namibian National Strategic Action Plan for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (NNSAP-PGRFA) was recently developed under the guidance of the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre (GRTC) and a two-day …

Zanu-PF embraces biotechnology

December 18th, 2015 / Southern Times, South Africa

Zanu-PF is moving closer to embracing biotechnology to increase food production in the country, with the ruling party coming out in its support as a tool to fight hunger and poverty. The party’s secretary of science and technology Professor Jonathan Moyo told delegates at the just-ended Zanu PF’s 15th Annual …

‘Let’s pool knowledge together on biotechnology’

December 17th, 2015 / GhanaWeb.com

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Mahama Ayariga has called on the proponents and sceptics of biotechnology to pool their knowledge together to achieve the collective goal of food security and food sovereignty. “If our common goal is to grow African agriculture then fora such as we are …

Growing coffee varieties resistant to CWD

December 17th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farmer Joseph Musisi Ssebatta talks to B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, about his CWD-resistant coffee nursery, “We expected that by 2015 the country (Uganda) would be exporting at least 4.5 million 60-kilogram-bags which it used to export long ago but unfortunately this has not yet happened mainly due to the coffee …

The crop conundrum

December 16th, 2015 / Nature, UK

European Commission directive on releasing GM organisms into the environment covers field trials and cultivation defines GM organisms as having alterations that cannot occur naturally, which were made by genetic engineering. What is unclear is how this relates to experiments in which researchers introduce foreign DNA to direct a precise …

A new breed of edits

December 14th, 2015 / Nature, UK

Genome editing allows much smaller changes to be made to DNA compared with conventional genetic engineering. In terms of agriculture, this might win over public and regulator opinion. Genome editing offers both subtlety and speed, wherever in the genome a researcher wants to target. The speed comes from the technologies’ …

Project embeds young African climate researchers

December 1st, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Back in the 1980s, African scientists contributed less than two per cent of the papers in global climate change publications. This dire situation remained the same for almost 30 years. Climate models and growing evidence suggest Africa is likely to feel some of the worst impacts of climate change. …