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Latin American native maize reveals adaptation secrets

March 21st, 2017 / SciDev.net

An international team of scientists identified a hundred genes that influence adaptation to the latitude, altitude, growing season and flowering time of nearly 4,500 native maize varieties in Mexico and in almost all Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Creole — or native — varieties of maize are derived from improvements made …

Crops you harvest in less than six months

March 17th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Currently, due to climate change as a result of deforestation, reclamation of swamps, and industrialisation, among other factors, traditional farmers who depended on the traditional crop growing calendar of March are no longer to tell seasons due to unpredictable dry spells, since there was no mitigation.
This, in part, implies that …

BT cotton varieties with reusable seeds

March 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Scientists at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in India has developed genetically engineered Bt cotton seeds that can be reused, thus saving farmers’ input costs. These cotton varieties are PAU Bt 1 and F1861. Rajasthan Agricultural University also developed RS 2013. The F1861 and RS 2013 varieties were transformed into Bt …

Led by Nigeria, Africa opening door to genetically modified crop cultivation

March 8th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

GM technology holds great benefits and promise for Africa, which needs to boost food output and to feed a growing population—expected to climb from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion by 2050. About half of that increase is expected to occur in Africa.
Without a sharp increase in food production, Africa faces …

11 African countries doing field tests for GM crops

March 8th, 2017 / AFKinsider

Africa has been reluctant in the past to adopt genetically modified food technology for crop production, but that’s changing, says Steven E. Cerier, a freelance international economist writing for the Genetic Literacy Project. Recent developments suggest that many African countries are prepared to overcome domestic and international opposition to GM …

Gene catalogues aim to help crops survive climate change

February 27th, 2017 / Scientific American

As farmers struggle with a shifting climate, a group of scientists are drilling down to the heart of the matter: crop genetics.
Climate change poses a variety of risks to agricultural produce, including starving crops of water and preventing them from growing in traditional regions. Recent research suggests America’s Corn Belt …

How European-based NGOs block crop biotechnology adoption In Africa

February 27th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Margaret Karembu, Director of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, writes: “I grew up in rural Africa, in Central Kenya, in a small village deep down the slopes of Mt Kenya called Gaikundo. For most parts of the year, it was a struggle putting food on the table …

Nigeria: farmers can whether to embrace GMOs

February 24th, 2017 / WorldStage News, Nigeria

The Director General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Lucy Ogbadu has said that the adoption of Genetically Modified Organisms seeds by farmers in Nigeria is by choice, not under compulsion.
Speaking Wednesday during a training on GMO detection for staffs of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) at NABDA headquarters …

Agriculture in Africa: Potential versus reality

February 23rd, 2017 / How we made it in Africa

With more than 60% of its 1.166 billion people living in rural areas, Africa’s economy is inherently dependent on agriculture. More than 32% of the continent’s gross domestic product comes from the sector.
However, agricultural productivity still remains far from developed world standards. Over 90% of agriculture depends on rainfall, with …

14 improved crop varieties officially released in the DRC

February 22nd, 2017 / AGRA Digital

Farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo will reap the benefits of extensive evaluations of improved crop varieties in North and South Kivu that culminated in the release of 14 new and improved varieties of three critical food crops earlier this month. Agricultural authorities from DRC’s “Service National des Semences” …