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Nairobi tech firm gets Sh2bn for maize hybrids

June 25th, 2018 / Business Daily

A Nairobi-based appropriate tech firm has received Sh2.46 billion to pursue regulatory approval for commercialisation of drought-tolerant and insect-resistant maize hybrids.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to non-state research agency African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) will be used to fast-track adoption of the newly developed maize hybrid, Tela, that …

On the offensive against fall armyworm in Africa

June 22nd, 2018 / CIMMYT

The fall armyworm could cause maize yield losses projected at $2.5 to $6.2 billion a year. Experts estimate that Africa will need an investment of at least $150 to $200 million annually for research and pest management to mitigate related damage.
The voracious fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has marched across Africa …

Inter- and transdisciplinary research on yam systems for improved food security in West Africa

June 20th, 2018 / Open Access Government

Professor Emmanuel Frossard from ETH Zurich and his collaborators from Switzerland and West Africa experiment in the YAMSYS project, a novel approach for improved soil and crop management in yam systems.
Whereas food insecurity has decreased in West Africa, it remains a major problem. Many projects aiming at improving agricultural productivity …

Gene editing: building better blueprints, one gene at a time

June 20th, 2018 / LinkedIn

Ever since its introduction to the world over five years ago, a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 has been the scientific breakthrough that everyone is talking about. And while it’s the one generating the most buzz, CRISPR is just one of the gene-editing tools that scientists have been excitedly exploring over …

Gene editing, GMOs, and fear-based marketing

June 20th, 2018 / ITIF

After decades of special interest groups raising unwarranted fears and misrepresenting every aspect of so-called “GMOs”, opponents of innovation in plant and animal breeding are adding a new under-the-bed-monster to the mythical menagerie. This one is called “gene editing” aka “GE,” and it seems the topic is everywhere these …

This startup wants to save the banana by editing its genes

June 19th, 2018 / Fast Company

In a lab at a U.K. research park, researchers from a startup called Tropic Biosciences are using CRISPR to create a better banana. The startup, which is also using gene editing to improve coffee, believes that technology could help save the fruit. Today, the company announced that it raised $10 …

How much longer do we have to wait?

June 19th, 2018 / Manilla Bulletin, Philippines

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) continues to be a major public health concern worldwide. It is estimated that 250,000–300,000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, with half of them dying within a year after getting blind.
Here at home, not only are we not making progress, the problem is getting worse. …

Agriculture, nutrition and fortification, supplementation and biofortification

June 15th, 2018 / Agriculture & Food Security

The worlds growing population and limited land resources require high intensity of food production. Human nutrition needs both macronutrients and micronutrients. One way of providing micronutrients in staple crops of the poor is biofortification, through plant breeding. All methods of plant breeding are acceptable and safe, and some methods can …

How we certify, approve genetically modified food in Nigeria – DG Biosafety Agency

June 12th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Rufus Ebegba is the Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA). His agency is responsible for regulating biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Basically the agency rejects or approves GMOs and its activities in Nigeria.
There has been a protracted debate over the application of genetically modified crops into …

Towards a late-blight resistant potato for Africa

June 12th, 2018 / CIP International Potato Centre

This video describes advances by the International Potato Center and the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) of Uganda to develop a potato variety resistant to late blight. Watch …