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Kenya, Ethiopia show neighboring Uganda how to revive its dying cotton industry with pest-tolerant technology

August 3rd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Cotton, once a cash cow in Uganda where growers aspired to outcompete each other in the acreage covered and income earned, could slowly become a crop of the past if nothing is done to curb the steady decline in its production.
According to data from the Cotton Development Organization, Uganda’s lint …

Women’s cooperatives boost agriculture and savings in rural Ethiopia

August 3rd, 2018 / AllAfrica

Through women’s cooperatives, a joint UN programme provides training in agricultural techniques, improved seeds and time-saving machinery, while also granting loans and encouraging saving.
n most parts of the Dodola district, 300 km south of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, slow-moving oxen plowing opens stretches of farmland. But in one field, a …

Let’s first ask what women scientists want

August 3rd, 2018 / SciDev.net

Contrary to stereotypes, women scientists often fare better in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) than they do in other parts of the world, says Rana Dajani, a biologist from Hashemite University in Jordan. Statistics from the OECD, from UNESCO and elsewhere show high percentages of women in scientific …

How changing the world’s food systems can help to protect the planet

August 1st, 2018 / The Conversation

By Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director, CGIAR System Organization
Going into debt with nature is a dangerous thing. When our stocks of water, land and clean air are spent – we don’t have a second planet to borrow from. But that’s exactly the way that Earth is heading. 1 August 2018 marks …

Financial benefit of using GM crops

July 31st, 2018 / Farming UK

A new report has quantified the significant financial benefit of using GM crop technology to maximise agricultural productivity.
The report, which has been produced by Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot of UK-based PG Economics Ltd, looks around the world at where GM science has been used to boost productivity and save …

10 ways CRISPR will revolutionize environmental science

July 31st, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

The hot new gene editing technique CRISPR has been making headlines for its potential to treat or prevent diseases. But medicine isn’t the only science where CRISPR is opening doors. This powerful genetic engineering tool is already helping scientists develop technologies to protect or repair the environment from human harm.
CRISPR: …

GM crop ruling shows why the EU’s laws are wholly inadequate

July 30th, 2018 / The Conversation

We should assess new crop varieties on the traits they are supposed to deliver, not on how those traits were introduced. The system needs to be proportional and risk-based. This should of course include consideration of the unintended effects of whatever genetic improvement process was used. Instead we spend years …

CRISPR plants now subject to tough GM laws in European Union

July 27th, 2018 / Nature, UK

Gene-edited crops should be subject to the same stringent regulations as conventional genetically modified (GM) organisms, Europe’s highest court ruled on 25 July.
The decision, handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in Luxembourg, is a major setback for proponents of gene-edited crops, including many scientists. …

How to protect your soils for bumper crop yield

July 27th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Land degradation can either be a natural or man-made process which impairs the capacity of the land to function.
Soils are affected in the process when acidification, sedimentation, contamination and erosion, occurs.
Land degradation lowers the soil fertility status due to the removal of change in …

How food biotechnology is improving food security

July 27th, 2018 / Borgen Magazine

Food Biotechnology Improves Crop Yields and Growing Times
Advancements in food biotechnology such as genetic engineering and gene editing have allowed for the sequencing of various crop species like pearl millet. Pearl millet is commonly cultivated in sub-Saharan Africa, India and other South Asian countries and is commonly regarded as a …