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Gene editing: The key to food security in a warmer world?

January 8th, 2018 / Deutsche Welle, Germany

At the Justus Liebig University in Gießen, Germany, scientist Karl-Heinz Kogler is fighting diseases that affect wheat and other crops. His new weapon is the gene-editing technique CRISPR-cas9. It allows him to literally edit organisms, removing bits of DNA responsible for undesirable outcomes.
Recently, he and his team edited the wheat …

A peace plan for resolving GMO conflict

January 8th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Five years ago, environmentalist Mark Lynas stood before the UK Oxford Farming Conference and offered a public apology for his earlier anti-GMO activism. In the years since, he’s devoted himself pretty much full time to the GM issue, visiting numerous countries in Africa and Asia and meeting farmers, scientists, activists …

Ugandan president refuses to sign biosafety bill into law

January 5th, 2018 / Xinhua, China

In a letter to the speaker last week, Museveni said the use of the GMO crops will contaminate the indigenous ones which Ugandan farmers have developed for years.
“This law apparently talks of giving monopoly of patent rights to its adder and forgets about the communities that developed original material. This …

New technologies are re-engineering traditional plant breeding to meet global food security challenges

January 5th, 2018 / Nature Plants, UK

Breeding crops with a high yield and superior adaptability is vital to maintaining global food security. New technologies on multiple scales are re-engineering traditional plant breeding to meet these challenges. Read more …

The banana as we know it is dying … again

January 5th, 2018 / Discover Magazine, US

The bananas your grandparents ate were different than the ones you eat today. And the bananas your grandchildren know will probably be entirely different as well.
For the moment, we are in the age of the Cavendish, a banana cultivar that accounts for 99 percent of imports to the Western world. …

Speed breeding technique sows seeds of new green revolution

January 4th, 2018 / John Innes Centre, UK

Pioneering new technology is set to accelerate the global quest for crop improvement in a development which echoes the Green Revolution of the post war period.
The speed-breeding platform developed by teams at the John Innes Centre, University of Queensland and University of Sydney, uses a glasshouse or an artificial environment …

Speed breeding LED technique grows food six times faster than conventional farming

January 4th, 2018 / ZME Science

Australian researchers have demonstrated a ‘speed breeding’ technique for common crops. Their method yields far more food per unit area than conventional farming, relying on specially calibrated LEDs that emit light at specific frequencies onto crops to accelerate plant growth.
Using this setup, researchers showed that they could grow six generations …

Hidden threat to health

January 3rd, 2018 / Phys.org

One of the most ambitious programmes to provide lasting improvements in nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa begins today when a diverse multinational team of experts from agriculture to ethics start looking for ways to end dietary deficiencies in essential micronutrients.
Rothamsted Research is contributing soil and crop expertise to the programme, known …

Challenge of food waste is put centre stage at Oxford Farming Conference

January 3rd, 2018 / Farming Life, UK

In Africa, which contributes approximately 18% of global postharvest food losses, they suggest the research base is too low across the continent, with the majority of research stemming from South Africa. Professor Terry argues that UK research funds should be used to address this imbalance. “The global threat to food …

Research on solar pumps promises better tidings

January 2nd, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

On a shiny afternoon last week, Oliver Bill, a 24-year-old former student leader at Moi University, was busy moving up and down to irrigate his 1.3 acres under tomatoes using a portable solar powered pump.
The holder of a degree in strategic management has become a smart farmer, and is perhaps …