In the news...

Biosafety regulation assures safety, builds confidence, says NBMA boss

November 15th, 2016 / News Diary, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow, Abdallah el-Kurebe, reports: The Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba ‎has declared that Nigeria’s Biosafety regulation of modern biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) was crucial for safety assurance and confidence building for Nigerians.
‎He stated this at the 2nd National Biosafety Conference …

Researchers map out the chemical pathways that help plants cope with drought

November 14th, 2016 / Natural Science News, Panama

A team of researchers has pinpointed some of the mechanisms used by plants to cope with drought conditions. The discovery of the specific genes and proteins involved may help plant breeders develop crops better suited to changing conditions brought on by global warming. The details were just published in the …

African researchers develop drought-tolerant GMO maize variety

November 14th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project

Maize is a staple food crop for millions of Africans. Despite this fact, African farmers have been harvesting average grain yield of not more than 2 t/ha while there is a potential of producing more than 10 t/ha. Drought is one of the major abiotic constraints contributing to this low …

Unsung Heroes – beyond scientific attention

November 14th, 2016 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

The next of our periodic blogs which discuss food security, with a specific focus on how plant genetic research might contribute to addressing the challenge of feeding a fast-growing global population in increasingly uncertain climatic conditions.
Achieving food security is a complex problem that goes far beyond just producing more food. …

Fact-checking the New York Times on GM crop yields – science responds

November 11th, 2016 / Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, US

On October 29, The New York Times ran a story titled “Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops,” by reporter Danny Hakim. The response from scientists and farmers around the world was immediate and emphatic: The claims advanced in the article are wrong in just about every way …

Why small grains continue to resist winner takes all commercialisation

November 10th, 2016 / NewsDay, Zimbabwe

From Mali to Zimbabwe and South Africa to Southern Sudan, small grains remain an integral part of mainstream local food systems.
There are many reasons why small grains continue to pack a huge socio-economic punch in many countries.
To revisit and stimulate a frank discussion on the power of small grains, eMKambo …

No GMOs, more greenhouse gas

November 10th, 2016 / AgriNews, US

A global ban on genetically modified crops would raise food prices and add the equivalent of nearly a billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, a study by researchers from Purdue University shows.
Using a model to assess the economic and environmental value of GMO crops, agricultural economists found that …

USAID has launched a five-year sustainable Shea initiative for seven West African states

November 10th, 2016 /

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: USAID Ghana in partnership with the Global Shea Alliance has launched a five-year sustainable Shea initiative for seven West African countries. The initiative will see to the implementation of promotional and improved sustainable production activities to enhance the Shea industry in West Africa. See …

Scientists identify molecular conductors that help plants respond to drought

November 9th, 2016 / ISAAA, US

A new study conducted at the Salk Institute found molecular conductors that help plants respond to stress such as drought and salinity. The study suggests that during environmental stresses, a small group of proteins acts as conductors to manage the complex responses of plants to stress. See …

Biotech crops impact economy positively

November 9th, 2016 / Bizcommunity, South Africa

The Department of Science and Technology Director General, Dr Phil Mjwara, says biotechnology or genetically modified (GM) crops have had a positive economic impact on South Africa.
“It is estimated that the economic gains from biotech crops for South Africa for the period 1998 to 2013 was $1.6bn and $313m for …