In the news...

Genetic mutation can triple sorghum grain yields – and could boost rice, corn and wheat

March 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A simple genetic modification can triple the grain number of sorghum, a drought-tolerant plant that is an important source of food, animal feed, and biofuel in many parts of the world. In new research reported today in Nature Communications, scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have figured out how …

Distant cousins of domesticated crops harbor traits to feed a hungry planet

March 13th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Recently, scientists found that more frequent flooding caused by storm and rainfall along with erratic temperature are responsible for the resurgence of phytophthora blight, a devastating disease that weakens pigeonpea stems irrespective of soil types and cropping patterns. With climate change, new invasive pests and changes in the farming landscape, …

China to deepen agricultural cooperation with Africa

March 13th, 2018 / People's Daily, China

China is willing to share its experience in managing agriculture and rural systems with African countries through multiple ways, and further deepen cooperation with them, Chinese Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu vowed.
A Chinese agricultural expert passes on farming technologies to farmers in Burundi, in an aid-Burundi demonstration rice field.
The country …

Uganda’s researchers ready to taste test their GMO vitamin A-enriched banana

March 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
The East African cooking banana is one of the major food crops eaten by the people living in central Uganda.
In the recent years, the plant has been hit by a number of pests and diseases, including nematodes, black sigatoka and banana bacterial wilt. To combat …

Seed Co introduces new maize variety tolerant to lethal necrosis disease

March 12th, 2018 / Farmbiz Africa

Seed Co, a company that develops and markets certified crop seeds, mainly hybrid maize seed has introduced a new maize variety that is tolerant to the maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND).
“The new maize variety KATEH 01 was developed over a period of three years since 2016 by Seed Co in …

African women adopt smart solutions for climate change

March 9th, 2018 / CTA, Netherlands

Climate-smart agriculture practices are helping to counter the devastating conditions faced by farmers in Africa in recent years. Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba is Programme Manager for the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), a longstanding CTA partner. She explains how women are at the forefront of farmers’ efforts …

To plant or not to plant – the debate over GM seeds

March 9th, 2018 / Dispatch, Uganda

The current debate about the use of genetically-modified seeds in Uganda might determine Africa’s agricultural future.
John Ssembajjwe, a long-time maize farmer in the Wakiso and Masaka districts, walks around his two-acre farm in Sissa and recalls the time he almost broke down in tears after his crop was scorched by …

GenED: the next generation of biotechnology

March 9th, 2018 / Fod and Nutrition

There is enormous excitement about the potential applications of genome editing, or GenEd. Billed as a set of techniques that promise more precision, flexibility and efficiency, these new breeding technologies are fast-replacing the biotechnology used to create the first genetically engineered crops. Scientific and agricultural communities are eager to foster …

Aflatoxin a serious threat to food security, experts warn

March 9th, 2018 / KBC, Kenya

Aflatoxin is spreading fast, posing a risk to food security worldwide, as global warming increases, an epidemiologist has warned.
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) veterinary epidemiologist Johanna Lindahl said aflatoxin which is a major food security issue in Africa; is slowly spreading to the North fueled by the global warming trends.
“With …

World Women’s Day: women play vital role in biotech

March 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

As the world celebrates the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018, more women are speaking up for their rights, equality, and justice. With the theme “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”, the United Nations Commission puts a focus on the activism of rural women, who make up …