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New satellite technology tool transforms central Africa’s ability to manage food security

March 23rd, 2018 / ReliefWeb

The ‘African Regional Data Cube’ has been launched today at the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data GPSDD’s inaugural Data for Development festival in the United Kingdom. This new tool harnesses the latest earth observation and satellite technology to help Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Tanzania address food security …

NAS: Conventional agriculture won’t feed Nigeria

March 23rd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Nigerian scientists are drumming up support for modern agricultural biotechnology, saying the country cannot feed its growing population with the current conventional method of farming.
In an exclusive interview with the Alliance, Nigeria Academy of Science President Mosto Onuoha said the current method of farming would not sustain the nation …

Embrace new technologies to increase agricultural production, Africa urged

March 23rd, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

Africa should embrace technology and innovations to boost agro-production and, hence save the billions of dollars the continent spends on food imports, the Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources has said.
Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana said use of advanced technology helps increase crop yields across the continent, a development that would help …

The fuss about biotechnology: Why?

March 19th, 2018 / The Nigerian Voice

Science, technological innovation and a fundamental understanding of nature are among the major drivers of progress. Today’s advances in the treatment of human disease have been made possible by the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and the DNA double-helix structure by Watson and Crick in 1953. These …

Is nature “natural” anymore?

March 16th, 2018 / Mapping Ignorance, Spain

It seems that we are definitely heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “more natural” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. Remarkably, this bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, …

Vitamin A-biofortified maize: exploiting genetic native variation for nutrient enrichment

March 16th, 2018 / Crop Trust, Germany

Nutrition trials in countries administering Vitamin A capsules resulted on average in a 24% reduction in child mortality. By breeding staple crops with higher amounts of Vitamin A, the supply of Vitamin A in our food sources can be sustainably increased.
Maize provides approximately 30% of the total calories of more …

Tanzania: New improved high-iron and zinc beans released

March 15th, 2018 / Sweet Potato Knowledge Portal

The high-iron beans are a special type of conventionally bred biofortified beans that contain high levels of iron and zinc. Biofortification enhances the nutritional value of staple food crops by increasing the density of vitamins and minerals in a crop through either conventional plant breeding, agronomic practices or biotechnology. Examples …

Contributions of biotechnology to meeting future food and environmental security needs

March 14th, 2018 / The EuroBiotech Journa

Biotechnology, including genetic modifications, can play a vital role in helping to meet future food and environmental security needs for our growing population. The nature and use of biotechnology crops are described and related to aspects of food security. Biotechnological applications for food and animal feed are described, together with …

Uganda’s researchers ready to taste test their GMO vitamin A-enriched banana

March 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
The East African cooking banana is one of the major food crops eaten by the people living in central Uganda.
In the recent years, the plant has been hit by a number of pests and diseases, including nematodes, black sigatoka and banana bacterial wilt. To combat …

To plant or not to plant – the debate over GM seeds

March 9th, 2018 / Dispatch, Uganda

The current debate about the use of genetically-modified seeds in Uganda might determine Africa’s agricultural future.
John Ssembajjwe, a long-time maize farmer in the Wakiso and Masaka districts, walks around his two-acre farm in Sissa and recalls the time he almost broke down in tears after his crop was scorched by …