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How EU countries opting out of GMOs affect the rest of the world

October 12th, 2015 / Science 2.0

For the EU countries that are opting out of GM, not much changes in terms of current farming practice, and the decision has no real cost to their citizens. It does; however, deny many EU farmers potentially valuable options in the future, particularly as the science of genetic engineering advances. …

New analyses of cassava brown streak virus genome sequences may hasten dev of disease-free cassava

October 9th, 2015 / PLOS One

Cassava brown streak disease is caused by two devastating viruses, Cassava brown streak virus and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus, which frequently infecting one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important staple food crops. In this new research, 12 new whole genomes were uncovered, doubling the genomic sequences available in the public …

Genetic makeup of thousands of rice varieties placed in global seed data pool

October 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Genome sequences of more than 3,000 rice varieties have been placed with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) by IRRI, the world’s leading rice research institute, in a move to set up a global data exchange system for crop genetic resources. Having genetic information …

B4FA Week in Review – 7 October 2015

October 7th, 2015 / B4FA.org

Agricultural leaders and experts met last week in Lusaka, Zambia, for the 2015 African Green Revolution Forum. Themed “Walking the Talk on Youth and Women: Bringing Inclusive Agricultural Markets to Life,” the summit focused on engaging Africa’s fast-growing youth population in the continent’s agribusiness industry as a way of providing jobs, …

Biotech strategies to enhance plants’ natural response to drought

October 2nd, 2015 / ISB News Report, US

How do plants deal with flood and drought? They cope by triggering different strategies. Water deficit and water excess are major factors affecting plants yield worldwide. To cope with such factors, plants trigger physiological and biochemical changes allowing them to survive for a limited period of time. See …

Stakeholders from Africa visit Bt cotton fields in India

October 2nd, 2015 / ISAAA, US

Delegates from 29 East and South African cotton growing countries participate in a week long study tour to Bt cotton fields in India from September 27 to October 2, 2015. The “Seeing is believing” study tour is being conducted by the South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), New Delhi, in …

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 …

Working to allay farmers’ fears of improved seeds

September 30th, 2015 / Daily News, Tanzania

The agriculture sector, while being crippled by poor output brought about by the use of low quality inputs, farmers would rather still stick to traditional seeds than attempt laboratory improved varieties. See …

China funding agriculture research lab in Kenya

September 30th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

The Chinese government is funding a laboratory at a Kenyan university that will train students and conduct agricultural research. The lab will come up in Egerton University which has its main campus in Njoro in south-western Kenya. A crop molecular laboratory is under construction in the campus, in collaboration …

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