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Kenya launches Pan African research initiative to boost climate smart farming

September 17th, 2019 / China.org.cn

Kenya has launched a Pan African initiative to train the next generation of scientists who will support ongoing efforts to boost climate resilient farming in the world’s second-largest continent.

Kenya-based Africa Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) in partnership with foundations inaugurated the first cohort of African scientists who will …

Ban on GM technology, biggest obstacle to food security, scientists say

September 16th, 2019 / KBC, Kenya

The Kenyan government should embrace the use of biotechnology in order to boost food security.

According to scientists, the ban of Genetically Modified (GM) technology imposed in the country in 2012 has been the biggest obstacle to food sustainability.

The scientists have for the last ten years been carrying out successful Confined …

SATI gene editing could replace CRISPR

September 13th, 2019 / News – Medical, Life Sciences, UK

The ability to edit genes within living cells and organisms at all levels, using tools like the well-known and powerful CRISPR-Cas9, is one of the most sophisticated and useful advances in modern biology. However, the technique has been limited by a myriad of safety concerns.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute …

Sequenced pea genome aids effort to improve global nutrition, boost sustainable farming

September 13th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

An international team of researchers has assembled the first genome of the field pea, providing insight into how Mendel’s original genetic model evolved and help future improvements of the crop. The study, published in Nature Genetics, has important implications for global nutrition and sustainability of crops. Pea is the second most important grain …

Danforth Center tapped to improve sorghum as a bioenergy crop

September 12th, 2019 / USAgnet.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) has launched a major initiative to develop bioenergy crops through genomics-based research. Danforth Center Principal Investigator, Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., will lead a multi-institutional project under this initiative to deepen the understanding of sorghum, a versatile …

A breeding revolution could unleash the potential of potato

September 4th, 2019 / Science Magazine, US

Unlike other major crops, however, the potato has not had a breeding breakthrough of the kind that helped dramatically boost yields during the Green Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. The reason is that creating a new potato variety is slow and difficult, even by the patient standards of plant …

China farmers warned to avoid illegal African swine fever vaccines

September 4th, 2019 / South China Morning Post

China’s agriculture ministry is warning farmers against using illegal experimental vaccines in the country’s ongoing battle with African swine fever.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said it had ordered local governments to step up checks and crack down on illegal vaccines.

The move was in …

The protection of traditional knowledge in Africa

September 3rd, 2019 / Inventa International

Traditional Knowledge (TK) is, in accordance to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “a living body of knowledge passed on from generation to generation within a community”. Traditional Knowledge is the know-how, skills and practices developed within a community, forming part of its cultural identity, which is passed through generations.

Despite the …

Patents on plants: Is the sellout of genes a threat to farmers and global food security?

September 3rd, 2019 / DW.com

There’s an ongoing global trend of companies claiming property rights for plants or genetic material of plants  across the globe.

“Resources that used to be available to mankind as a community have now been confined to privatization,” Judith Düesberg from NGO gene ethical network told DW.

The United States first introduced the idea …

GM cassava research progresses in Uganda

September 2nd, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

As Ugandan researchers progress in breeding genetically modified (GM)  disease-resistant cassava, they are requesting permission to create permanent demonstration gardens of the improved crops. The goal is to ensure continuous documentation of the ongoing cassava research and also provide a place where people can see GM plants. However, the request …