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Kenya: Biotech maize field trials fail to get crop agency green light

April 3rd, 2018 / Business Daily, Kenya

Plans for commercial cultivation of genetically modified maize in Kenya have been dealt a blow after a plants agency declined to give State scientists the green light to proceed with the exercise.
National Biosafety Authority, the body responsible for regulating GMOs, had late last year written to the Kenya Agricultural and …

Uganda: MPs want speedy passing of the Biosafety Bill

April 3rd, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

From B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru:
When scientists are carrying out research to get a solution to a problem be it in health, agriculture, environment and engineering sector, it is important for the public to give them the necessary support, more so policy makers and other government authorities must be at the …

Guarding against post harvest losses

April 3rd, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
It is difficult to emphasise clean and safe crop post harvesting practices among cash trapped farmers with very little access to knowledge, information, and improved technology like is the case in most of our rural farming communities.
The effort to guard against post-harvest losses should begin with …

Agricultural diversification as an important strategy for achieving food security in Africa

April 3rd, 2018 / Global Change Biology

Farmers in Africa have long adapted to climatic and other risks by diversifying their farming activities. Using a multi‐scale approach we explore the relationship between farming diversity and food security and the diversification potential of African agriculture and its limits on the household and continental scale. On the household scale …

How USAID uses GMO crops to improve food security around the world

April 2nd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Pod cast: Angela Records, science advisor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), joins Chris Barbey to discuss how the organization uses biotechnology to develop local solutions to crop diseases and other issues impacting food security. USAID is committed to remedies in world food insecurity, with an emphasis …

Project improves food security in six African nations

March 30th, 2018 / SciDev.net, UK

An initiative in six African countries has helped improve farming methods and food security.
Launched in 2012, the project funded by the government of Finland and called FoodAfrica Programme has helped improve the security and quality of food supply in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda.
During a meeting held this …

Agrilinks releases food safety hazard factsheets

March 29th, 2018 / AgriLinks

The factsheets provide a snapshot of several key foodborne disease (FBD) causing agents (chemical and biological) commonly found in developing countries. They provide a description of the agent, major food sources, impact on human health and how to manage toxicity. These are a useful tool for those looking for a …

Myths and misleading claims about fertilizers and pesticides lead to GMO fear mongering

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Why did activists trash experimental crops of genetically modified (GM) maize and oilseed rape in the 1990s in the UK? Why were their activities closely followed by a pliant media?
Not having been closely involved with plant breeding, my first reaction was to wonder what I had missed that led the …

The future of organic farming and gene editing

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

It’s become popular in recent years for some to call for a shift away from conventional farming and wholly into organic. But is this even feasible? Not when you compare the yields of both farming methods. Organic yields are usually 20-30 percent below conventional yields, with the sometimes exception of …

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast

March 28th, 2018 / University of Exeter, UK

Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world’s rice crop each year.
An international team led by the University of Exeter showed that chemical genetic inhibition of a single protein in the fungus stops it spreading inside …