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Cultivating resilience to climate change

November 7th, 2018 / Food Tank

The Crop Trust is on a mission to improve biodiversity and protect farmers against climate change through their Crop Wild Relatives project.
Crop Trust joined with The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) in June on a five-day hunt for wild relatives of potatoes in Brazil. Having found two wild potato relatives …

What’s wrong with bananas

November 6th, 2018 / Nautilus

Norman C. Ellstrand, distinguished professor of genetics at the University of California, Riverside where he holds the Jane S. Johnson Endowed Chair in Food and Agriculture, writes:
Of the important global crops, the banana is the most genetically uniform. A single cluster of nearly identical genotypes, the Cavendish subgroup, nearly …

Plague of caterpillars threatening food crisis may be halted with safe pesticides

November 5th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

Plague of caterpillars threatening food crisis may be halted with safe pesticides
Study suggests biopesticides should be trialled to control the march of armyworm that’s destroying crops across the continent.
Experts have identified safer, effective pesticides they believe can control a plague of caterpillars that is devastating crops across Africa.
Many farmers …

Ugandan scientists poised to release vitamin-fortified GMO banana

October 31st, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Ugandan scientists are eying a 2021 release date for genetically modified bananas fortified with vitamin A, provided the nation passes its biosafety law.
In 2005, Ugandan scientists began using the tools of biotechnology to breed bananas fortified with vitamin A. Their goal was to help rural families …

Living Planet Report finds humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970

October 30th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

The huge loss is a tragedy in itself but also threatens the survival of civilisation, say the world’s leading scientists.
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens …

Genetic search reveals key to resistance in global cotton pest

October 30th, 2018 / Phys.org

In the most recent battle in the unending war between farmers and bugs, the bugs are biting back by adapting to crops genetically engineered to kill them.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identifies a dominantly inherited mutation that confers resistance to engineered cotton …

University of Ghana Professor, Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, has won the 2018 World Agriculture Prize

October 30th, 2018 / Modern Ghana

University of Ghana Professor, Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, has won the 2018 World Agriculture Prize in China.
Prof. Danquah who is founding Director of the West Africa Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI) was awarded the prize for his significant contribution to the mission of the University of Ghana through education, research and …

Agri-tech can turn African Savannah into global food basket – African Development Bank

October 29th, 2018 / ECOFIN Agency

The African Development Bank is championing a new regional and global effort to transform the African Savannah from a “Sleeping Giant” to the cradle of the continent’s green revolution.
“This sleeping giant needs to wake up,” the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, told an audience at …

GMO debate must be refocused on scientific facts

October 26th, 2018 / Joy Online, Ghana

A Plant Breeding lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is calling for a refocus of the debate on genetically modified foods in the country.
Dr Alexander Wireko Kena says it is about time that the debate is centred more on scientific facts and less on emotions, adding …

Biotechnology for sugarcane: much more than just a sugar crop

October 26th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

When we think of sugarcane, right away we associate it with table sugar, the most popular sweetener also chemically known as sucrose. In fact, this grass of the genus Saccharum accounts for 80% of sucrose produced worldwide, with the remaining 20% coming from sugarbeet. Each year around two billion metric …