In the news...

Agricultural product to control aflatoxin in crops launched

July 2nd, 2018 / Modern Ghana

Aflasafe GH02, a new agricultural bio control product to help manage aflatoxin contamination in crops and poultry was launched in Accra to ensure food security and food safety in Africa including Ghana.
Aflasafe GH02, developed by International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and its partners, contains native non-toxic strains of Aspergillus …

Ethiopia progresses with GMO crops

July 2nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

In an effort to improve agricultural productivity and safety, Ethiopia has approved the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) cotton and field research on GM maize.
The two crops have been genetically engineered to include genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a common soil bacterium that is widely used to control insect …

Agricultural advances draw opposition that blunts innovation

June 29th, 2018 / Science, US

Scientists are using technology to expand global food production and ease its environmental impact, but advances are being challenged by claims that lack scientific evidence and raise public distrust and concern, a leading agricultural scientist told an American Association for the Advancement of Science audience.
Alison Van Eenennaam traced the advent …

Weeds are winning the war against herbicide resistance

June 28th, 2018 / Scientific American

Herbicides are under evolutionary threat. Can modern agriculture find a new way to fight back?
For farmers, protecting fields from pests and plagues is a constant battle fought on multiple fronts. Many insects have a taste for the same plants humans do, and pathogenic microbes infect leaves, shoots and roots. Then …

Who is afraid of GMOs? Fear peddlers

June 28th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Margaret Karembu, Director of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) AfriCenter and Chair of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) – Kenya Chapter, writes:
The genetically modified organism (GMO) debate remains engulfed in a maelstrom of controversies. Sadly, what is largely a First-World debate continues to increasingly …

EAC beefs up efforts against invasive weed – parthenium hysterophorus

June 28th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

EAST African countries remain in danger of a devastating weed; parthenium hysterophorus that has already inflicted costs to farmers as experts strain themselves to contain it.
The ECHO East Africa Impact Center in collaboration with other partners and community is working out ways of containing the killer plant that is fast …

Popular rice variety gets extra gene power to fight bacterial attacks

June 27th, 2018 / The Hindu, India

Researchers at the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Rice Research have developed a new variety of the popular Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) rice that can resist bacterial blight disease.
Bacterial blight disease, which affects rice crop, is caused by bacteria, Xanthomonas oryzae, and drastically reduces rice productivity.
The high yielding ISM variety is …

‘Super crops’ could revolutionise agriculture in Africa, expert claims

June 27th, 2018 / Independent, UK

Super crops have the potential to revolutionise agriculture in Africa, a leading expert has claimed.
Hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested in new crops on the continent which are more nutritious and better resistant to disease with an improved ability to withstand severe flooding or drought.
From “scuba” rice which …

WACCI urges government to scale-up agricultural research investment

June 27th, 2018 / GhanaWeb

Professor Eric Danquah, Founding Director, West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, has urged the government to scale-up agricultural research investment; to increase productivity and to ensure food security for the people.
More should also be done to transform WACCI into a world class agriculture innovations and entrepreneurship …

Searching for biotech solutions to problems plaguing livestock in Africa

June 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
In Africa, scientific research involving biotechnology innovations in agriculture has largely focused on finding ways to produce better crops. But, increasingly, researchers in animal sciences are exploring the potential of these new technologies in breeding and disease resistance.
Those efforts are bolstered by the institutions such as …