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Global food demand estimated to double by 2050: new paper assesses global long-term scenarios

November 17th, 2015 / Food Climate Research Network

This paper, published in PLOS ONE, describes a transparent method for constructing specific food demand scenarios. It requires population and income projections as input, with no information on the food supply side needed. The tool is intended to support the work of scientists who require food demand scenarios as input …

Is biotechnology “natural”? Depends how you define “nature”

November 16th, 2015 / Mapping Ignorance

Silvia Román writes “… we are 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. This bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, both …

New potato varieties to boost productivity in Tanzania, Kenya could borrow some tips

November 14th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Brian Moseti writes “… Mtanga Farms Limited (MFL), in partnership with the Tanzanian government, announced the registration of four new potato varieties with the company promising to multiply and sell these seed potatoes to local farmers. With access to clean seed material, Tanzanian farmers for whom potatoes are a major …

Optimizing Africa’s food systems

November 10th, 2015 / International Policy Digest, UK

In Africa, agriculture is not only a source of food and nutrition but of incomes, employing up to 64 percent of labor on the continent with women producing up to 80 percent of food. It is therefore the most accessible sector. Investments to enhance productivity in this sector will ensure …

Breeding higher yielding crops by increasing sugar import into seeds

November 3rd, 2015 / Science Daily, US

A team of scientists led by Carnegie’s Wolf Frommer has now discovered that a sugar-transport protein in maize and rice called SWEET4 is both necessary for successful seed filling and shows genome changes that indicate domestication by humans. The new research is published in Nature Genetics. Read …

Uganda: ‘GMO bill’ continues to divide civil society, scientists

November 2nd, 2015 / Sunrise

Certain civil society organizations want the government to shelve the biotechnology and biosafety bill, alleging that it is being pushed by foreign interests. But the Head of the Biotechnology Center at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories at Kawanda, Dr Andrew Kiggundu, dismissed this as both irresponsible and myopic. Kiggundu and …

Ghana faces biotech research, funding crisis

October 30th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Dr. Marian D. Quain, a molecular biologist and genetic engineer at the Crop Science and Research Institution-Crop Research Institute (CSIR-CRI), has said the CRI has no funds to undertake research work in their field as research scientists. Ghana, as a country, relies on research from other countries to undertake our …

More women researchers needed ‘to deliver food security’

October 19th, 2015 / BBC

At the 2015 Borlaug Dialogue conference in the US, Chelsea Clinton told delegates that women were a “crucial, vital and necessary” part of delivering global food security. Another speaker, Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg – director of the Kenya-based African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (Award) – said, “We need to increase …

3,000 rice genomes data free on Amazon Web Services cloud

October 2nd, 2015 / ISAAA, US

The International Rice Research Institute announced that the 3,000 Rice Genomes Project (3K RGP) has successfully sequenced 3,024 rice varieties from 89 countries. This big data is a massive source of information for understanding the natural genetic variation in rice and for discovery of novel genes linked to economically …

Scientists advocate agricultural biotechnology for sustainable growth

September 30th, 2015 / Voice of Nigeria

Agricultural experts in Nigeria have identified farming as a major source of boosting the country’s economy and saving it from the overdependence on petroleum and petroleum products. Scientists have pointed out that the application of Agricultural biotechnology or Genetical Modification (GM) into Nigeria’s farming system will not only boost …