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The legacy of drought-tolerant maize

March 26th, 2016 / CIMMYT, Mexico

The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) Project has contributed towards improving seed system in sub-Saharan Africa for almost nine years (2007–2015), through 233 varieties released including about 200 distinct drought-tolerant (DT) maize hybrids and open-pollinated varieties (OPV) developed to help farmers cope with drought constraint in maize farming. …

Kenyan researchers step up trials for GM crops to fight hunger

March 16th, 2016 / Daily Nation, Kenya

National field trials for genetically modified maize (BT maize) have reignited interest in the bid by government and private companies to use science to produce more food cheaply. The situation has been made more urgent as the population continues to grow and worsening climatic conditions make more and more people …

B4FA evidence to UK House of Commons Select Committee

March 15th, 2016 / B4FA

In January 2016, the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee launched an inquiry into the impact of European Union (EU) regulation and policy on the UK life sciences. The inquiry will look at how EU legislation and regulation can best facilitate, and avoid impeding, collaboration and innovation in life sciences …

Staple plantains at risk of same diseases as bananas

March 11th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Plantains, an important staple through much of the tropical world, are susceptible to the same diseases currently threatening the world’s most popular banana the Cavendish. “All 120 plantain varieties suffer from the same susceptibility to black sigatoka, nematodes and weevils, like the cavendish, so there’s no variation in response to …

Climate deadline looms for African food crops

March 8th, 2016 / BBC, UK

Researchers have produced a timescale of how projected climate change is set to alter the face of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change is widely projected to have a significant adverse impact on food security if no adaptation measures are taken, they explain. In their study, the team provides timings …

Role of biotechnology in Nigeria’s economic diversification

March 4th, 2016 / Jarida, Nigeria

“Agriculture must cease from being treated as development programme; agriculture must be treated as business. Our goal will be to pursue government supported private sector agriculture value chain to make agriculture more productive, efficient and competitive.” – President Muhammadu Buhari Read …

Biosciences key to solving agricultural challenges

March 4th, 2016 / SciDev.net

Africa’s growth requires increased investments to harness biosciences as a tool for sustainable development in agriculture, a meeting has heard. Leading experts in agriculture say that innovative research and capacity building could help Africa respond to development challenges such as food security and climate change. But experts add that the …

Genome of cultivated groundnuts completed

March 3rd, 2016 / ISAAA

The International Peanut Genome Initiative (IPGI), including researchers from the University of Georgia and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), has completed sequencing the ancestral genomes of groundnut. The groundnut that is grown today comes from the hybridization of two wild species, Arachis duranensis (V14167, A-genome …

Viruses have their own version of CRISPR

March 1st, 2016 / The Atlantic, US

With all the buzz around CRISPR, the gene-editing technique that has instigated many an ethical debate and one acrimonious patent dispute, it would be easy to mistake it for a recent human invention. It’s not. Bacteria invented CRISPR billions of years ago, as a defense against marauding viruses. The bacteria …

Young scientists push Bt research

March 1st, 2016 / The Standard, Philippines

The Outstanding Young Scientists Inc., the official organization of outstanding young scientist awardees of the National Academy of Science and Technology, urged the Supreme Court Monday to allow the research on Bt eggplant to continue. OYSI in a statement asked the high court to reconsider its earlier decision and allow …