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We need policy on new breeding technologies

July 16th, 2019

From The Standard, Kenya

A series of genome editing-related research work in Africa has triggered the need for the continent to develop a dedicated policy for new and precision breeding techniques.

According to experts who are already doing gene editing research, National Biosafety Authorities in the continent need to develop regulations on …

The challenges of food storage

July 16th, 2019

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes in the Daily Monitor, Uganda

It is quite frustrating to think of the amount of food produced by struggling smallholder farmers in Uganda and gets lost due to lack of proper storage.A lot of our poverty and food insecurity reduction efforts ought to be geared towards …

Half the world’s pigs are facing the largest animal disease outbreak in history

July 15th, 2019

The FOODTANK reports

The African Swine Fever (ASF) virus spreads between animals through direct contact or tick vectors, and it is highly stable in meat products and the environment. This means that even after going through processing, packaging, and transportation, products contaminated at the source can still spread the disease further. Dr. Andres Perez, …

Agroecology as innovation

July 10th, 2019

On July 3, the High Level Panel of Experts of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its much-anticipated report on agroecology in Rome. The report signals the continuing shift in emphasis in the UN agency’s approach to agricultural development. As outgoing FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva …

Foods enhanced with proven health benefits not making it to consumers quickly enough

July 10th, 2019

Professor Johnathan Napier, who pioneered the development of plants that produce heart healthy omega-3 fish oils, says that misinformation and over-regulation is stopping or slowing several GM foods with the potential to save lives from making it to consumers.

He points to the example of Golden Rice, which has been genetically …

Armyworms are devastating Asia’s crops, but we have a plan to save them

July 9th, 2019 / The Conversation, UK

A very hungry caterpillar is rampaging through crops across the world, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The fall armyworm, also known as Spodoptera frugiperda (fruit destroyer), loves to eat maize (corn) but also plagues many other crops vital to human food security, such as rice and sorghum.

This invasive eating …

Smarter fertilizers can reduce environmental contamination

July 9th, 2019 / Scientific American, US

To feed the world’s growing population, farmers need to increase crop yields. Applying more fertilizer could help. But standard versions work inefficiently and often harm the environment. Fortunately, products that are more ecologically sound – controlled-release fertilizers – are available and becoming increasingly …

CRISPR gene edited soybeans suited for hotter climates offer ‘enormous’ crop yield boost

July 9th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Chinese agricultural scientists using gene-editing technology have created new soybean mutants, which could lead to soybean crops in much warmer climates including South China and countries near the Equator.

To create the soybean mutants, research teams from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences knocked out two genes using the gene-editing tool known as …

The first gene-edited soybean opens door to a slew of new CRISPR foods

July 8th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

At the beginning of the year 2019, high oleic soybean oil took its place on the market shelves. It contains several times less saturated fatty acids and healthier oleic acid than oil from conventional soybeans. 

The gene-edited crops most striking feature is that the oil made from it forms less trans …

How farmers grow vegetables in hydroponics

July 8th, 2019

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:

Providing quality nutritive food to millions of people by 2025 will be a major challenge for Uganda. Increasing population, decreasing land, water holding and global warming are some of the major impediments for agriculture, the backbone of this country. Various biotic and abiotic stress factors are threatening …