Study shows how feedback loop between media, politics, science hinders the adoption of GMOs

UGANDA – Researchers from South Africa and Uganda have shown how the feedback loop between the media, politics, foreign influence, and science hinders the adoption of GMOs and how governance concerns have a greater impact on Uganda’s agricultural industry than scientific ones. When introducing new technologies like GMOs, socio-cultural factors are crucial. Similarly, major players in the adoption process play…

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USAID launches projects to develop Striga-resistant sorghum varieties in Kenya, Ethiopia

KENYA/ETHIOPIA – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a new public-private partnership project “Feed the Future Striga Smart Sorghum for Africa (SSSfA)” in Kenya and Ethiopia that utilizes CRISPR genome editing to develop new sorghum varieties resistant to Striga. Striga is a parasitic weed responsible for up to 100 percent yield loss in Africa’s staple cereals, thus…

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Ghana acknowledges significance of biotech crops in attaining food security

GHANA – In its report on the status of agricultural biotechnology in Ghana, the USDA FAS Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) has stated that the country recognizes the potential of biotechnology as a critical innovation in the quest for national food and nutrition security. The new administration of Ghana launched an initiative titled “Planting for Food and Jobs” to focus…

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Ethiopia to draft national genome editing communication strategy to transform country’s agricultural industry

ETHIOPIA – Ethiopian Bio and Emerging Technology Institute (BETin) is receiving assistance from the Center of Excellence in Science, Technology, and Innovation of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) to create a national genome editing communication plan. Experts in biotechnology and media have come together as part of the national strategy development effort, which also aims to institutionalize level experience…

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Science academies urge African states to adopt GM Foods to boost food security

KENYA – Scientists from the Network of African Science Academies (NSAC) and Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS) have called for the adoption of GM Foods across Africa as a way of boosting food security in the continent. The calls come at a time when the continent is facing an acute food security crisis caused by frequent droughts that lead…

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International Potato Center creates blight-resistant potato varieties

KENYA/NIGERIA – The International Potato Center (CIP) is creating genetically modified late blight-resistant potato varieties through its Feed the Future global biotech potato partnership in Kenya and Nigeria.  These varieties will cut farmer losses by 15 to 30 percent and at least 90% of the current ksh1.8 billion (U.S$14,669,927) annual cost in fungicides. Late blight of Potatoes caused by Phytophthora…

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EFSA GMO panel declares herbicide-tolerant maize MON 87429 safe

EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) GMO Panel has declared herbicide-tolerant maize MON 87429 safe for import, processing, and food and feed uses within the European Union (EU). On 2 October 2019, Bayer Agriculture submitted the EFSA-GMO-NL-2019-161 application under Regulation (EU) No 503/2013, requesting that the EFSA GMO Panel provide a Scientific Opinion on the safety of GM…

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FSSAI creates draft regulations for Genetically Modified food

INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has created a draft set of regulations for genetically modified food, proposing that the manufacture, sale, and import of food or ingredients made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) require prior authorization from the regulator. According to the FSSAI, GMOs created for food usage will be subject to the proposed…

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Seed Co introduces hybrid crop seeds in Nigeria

NIGERIA – Seed Co, a developer of certified hybrid crop seeds, has concluded plans to introduce into the market hybrid seeds for wheat, millet, fruits, and vegetables which are climate-smart and disease-tolerant, in Kaduna. Kolade Dada, the company’s Managing Director, revealed this at the company’s recently held 2022–2023 grand finale, which featured a display of its products. Agric regulatory organizations,…

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Solynta, RegenZ tie up to provide hybrid true potatoes to South African farmers

SOUTH AFRICA – European hybrid potato seed innovator Solynta and South African seed potato manufacturer RegenZ have tied up to provide hybrid true potatoes to the South African farming community. The companies will collaborate in further trials and join forces to facilitate the introduction of Solynta’s ‘climate smart’ and disease-free genetics to the South African farmer.  With limited water resources,…

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