In the news...

Pink pineapples and healthy fries: The new GM foods made for you

May 28th, 2018 / New Scientist, UK

From health benefits to increased flavour and longer shelf-life, discover the new generation of GM foods designed with the consumer in mind. Read …

CTA’s Central African cassava project to benefit 10,000 smallholder farmers

May 28th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) has launched a new project in Kinshasa to explore cassava’s economic potential in agricultural value chains in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Cameroon.
According to CTA, a number of 10 cassava cooperatives will be targeted with a total membership of …

New pest identified in West and Central Africa!

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
This introduced second armyworm species from the Americas was first found in cassava fields in south-eastern Nigeria in December 2016, reported Dr Georg Goergen, Entomologist/Biocontrol Specialist and Head of IITA’s Biodiversity Center in Bénin. Its presence was …

These CRISPR-modified crops don’t count as GMOs

May 23rd, 2018 / The Conservation

Yi Li, Professor of Plant Science, University of Connecticut, writes:
To feed the burgeoning human population, it is vital that the world figures out ways to boost food production.
Increasing crop yields through conventional plant breeding is inefficient – the outcomes are unpredictable and it can take years to decades to create …

Underestimated microscopic problem for coffee crops

May 22nd, 2018 / Technology Networks

The plants which produce one of the most popular drinks in the world, coffee, are targeted by a microscopic worm, but scientists are fighting back.
An underestimated problem in coffee farming, the parasite has been found in soil samples across the coffee growing world thanks to a new and quick detection …

Building Africa’s smallholder farmers’ resilience for a food-secure future

May 21st, 2018 / Next Einstein Forum

Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.
“Towards the end of …

Where GM meets GE

May 21st, 2018 / Eureka Alert, AAAS, US

A new field trial of genetically modified Camelina, announced today by Defra, will be accompanied by one of the world’s first field trials of a genome-edited crop.
Genome edited (GE) crops will be sown in a field this month for the first time in the UK as part of an experimental …

Genetic engineering of plants contributes to the fight against malaria

May 21st, 2018 / European Scientist

A team of mainly Chinese researchers – the first author is Qian Shen and the reference author is Kexuan Tang – have just published “The Genome of Artemisia annua Provides Insight into the Evolution of Asteraceae Family and Artemisinin Biosynthesis”
The researchers declare modestly that they are reporting on a …

Kenyan farmers tackle poor soils, low yields with conservation agriculture

May 18th, 2018 / Farmers' Review Africa

To thousands of maize and beans farmers in Kenya a new low cost model of farming is improving their soil health and increasing their yields at a time when declining soil fertility, lack of access to inputs and increasing droughts has taken a toll on farm fields further fanning hunger …

African conference confirms growing strength of plant disease research network

May 18th, 2018 / University of Bristol

Delegates from ten African countries joined counterparts from the UK at the CONNECTED Virus Network Africa Launch Conference, which took place in Kampala, Uganda.
Bristol University-based CONNECTED team members Dr Diane Hird and Richard Wyatt attended to co-ordinate operations along with local National Crops Resources Research Institute staff, following pre-conference organisation …