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Africa still hesitant to adapt agricultural biotech

June 23rd, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Lack of funding, loss of trained technical expertise, slow development of the biotechnology sector, lack of political will and the issue of public acceptance brought by activism are the main challenges facing many African countries especially, East African countries on biotechnology and bio-safety.
A three-day workshop held in Mwanza Region, organized …

Why technologies could hook the youth to agriculture

June 23rd, 2017 / SciDev.net

Strengthening resilience and food security for agricultural communities is necessary for transforming agriculture, wellness and development of people, especially the youth, in Africa.
Salient to me from the Ministerial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition and the 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition in Kenya last week (14-16 June) …

African countries launch the Global Report on Commercialized Biotech/GM

June 22nd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

For Africa, 2016 was the 19th year of commercialization of biotech crops. A total of 13 countries, up from 11 in 2015 either planted, conducted trials or transitioned to granting approvals for general release of various biotech crops. South Africa and Sudan grew a total of 2.8 million hectares of …

Research found way to improve nitrogen fixation in legumes

June 22nd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the University of Kentucky led by Professor Hongyan Zhu have discovered a more efficient way for legumes to fix nitrogen. Zhu and his team found two antimicrobial peptides in the legume Medicago truncatula that kill certain rhizobial bacteria as nitrogen fixation begins. M. truncatula is closely related to …

Biotechnology could spur Africa’s industrialisation

June 22nd, 2017 / Southern Times

An industrial development strategy could be built on the back of Africa’s agricultural sector underpinned by the adoption of new and emerging technologies such as biotechnology to support improved yields, value addition and services that feed into the whole agro-processing value chain, a top Common Market for Eastern and Southern …

Climate change, transgenic corn adoption and field-evolved resistance in corn earworm

June 21st, 2017 / Royal Society Open Science, UK

Increased temperature anomaly during the twenty-first century coincides with the proliferation of transgenic crops containing the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) (Bt) to express insecticidal Cry proteins. Increasing temperatures profoundly affect insect life histories and agricultural pest management. However, the implications of climate change on Bt crop–pest interactions and insect resistance …

Future of corn: genetics could improve maize’s sustainability and productivity

June 20th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A new, much more detailed reference genome for maize, or corn, as it is called in the U.S., [was] published in Nature [June 12]. In its accounting of the sequence of DNA letters in the plant’s 10 chromosomes, the new version helps us understand as never before why maize, and …

Aflasafe products tested in Ghana for aflatoxin control in maize and groundnut

June 19th, 2017 / Africa Rising

Aflatoxin contamination of maize and groundnut by Aspergillus section Flavi fungi is perennial in Ghana. Consumption of foods with high aflatoxin content can cause acute liver cirrhosis and death, while sub-lethal chronic exposure may cause cancer, stunting in children, immune system suppression, and impaired food conversion. Animal productivity likewise becomes …

New initiative to accelerate crop improvement for food security in Africa

June 19th, 2017 / Biosciences Africa

A new initiative to speed up crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa – the Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvement in Africa (ACACIA) was launched today. The alliance has been established by founding members, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) through the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-ILRI (BecA-ILRI) Hub in Kenya and …

How do Nigerian farmers understand climate change?

June 19th, 2017 / CGIAR/CCAFS

Scientists have been greatly concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture, and about the impacts, adaptation and mitigation strategies of farmers in Africa. In a recently published article, scientists from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa, and the Department …