Category “GM Products”

Kenya Moves Closer to GM Maize

Kenya is inching closer to the commercialisation of a drought-tolerant maize variety developed using the controversial genetic modification technology.

Local and international scientists estimate that the maize variety will be ready for farmers’ sampling in three years time.

The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) has harvested its confined field trials, the fifth since the experiments started in 2010, which impressed scientists.

In such experiments, confined trials are conducted for seven seasons, and then subjected to National Performance Trials for two seasons.

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Africa: Is Africa Ready for GM?

Kisumu/Kampala — Even as food insecurity continues to afflict impoverished and disaster-affected populations around the continent, African policymakers and consumers remain deeply divided over the potential harms and benefits of genetically modified (GM) foods, which advocates say could greatly improve yields and nutrition.

A recent study published in the journal Food Policy, titled Status of development, regulation and adoption of GM agriculture in Africa, shows that heated debates over safety concerns continue to plague efforts to use GM crop technology to tackle food security problems and poverty.

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Africa Meets On GMOs

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa will this week meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a workshop on strategies for resistance against genetically modified seed. AFSA is a pan-African platform comprising networks and farmer organisations working in Africa to represent the voices of small farmers and indigenous groups in relation to rights to local and equitable food.

The workshop is also expected to oppose Bill Gates’ Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the new G8 Alliance for food security.

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Uganda: GM cassavas trialled

Cassava, a staple food in much of Africa is, unfortunately, highly susceptible to disease. For that reason, scientists in Uganda are testing a GM variety which is thought to be disease resistant.

However, like GM crops in many places, the new variety has run into controversy and opposition. The problem is Cassava Brown Streak Disease, which appeared in Uganda in 2005 and quickly spread, causing much damage to crops and to growers.

Scientist Titus Alicai thinks he has a solution: cassava plants that have been transformed for resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease.

Read the full article HERE

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Uganda: GM cassavas trialled

Cassava, a staple food in much of Africa is, unfortunately, highly susceptible to disease. For that reason, scientists in Uganda are testing a GM variety which is thought to be disease resistant.

However, like GM crops in many places, the new variety has run into controversy and opposition. The problem is Cassava Brown Streak Disease, which appeared in Uganda in 2005 and quickly spread, causing much damage to crops and to growers.

Scientist Titus Alicai thinks he has a solution: cassava plants that have been transformed for resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease. Alicai is a cassava breeder for Uganda’s national crop research institute. He shows off a shaded nursery full of thousands of small plants.

Read the full article HERE

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Africa: GMOs Good for Africa’s Development, Says Harvard Don

Biotechnology and genetic engineering have the potential to do for agriculture what mobile technology has done for the communications sector in Africa, a renowned Harvard University scholar, Prof. Calestous Juma, has said.

Prof. Juma, who was in the country for a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni, advocated for the adoption of Genetically Modified Orginisms (GMOs) saying they would boost food and income security.

He however, cautioned that it would be detrimental to adopt GMOs without clear flexible and supportive biotechnology regulations, asking Parliament to pass the Biotechnology Bill.

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Africa: Genetic Resources Play Crucial Role in Food Security

With climate change affecting agricultural productivity and growing populations demanding more food, it will be crucial for countries to preserve and share genetic resources to ensure food security, the United Nations agricultural agency said today.

“Climate change impacts are expected to reduce agricultural productivity, stability and incomes in many areas that already experience high levels of food insecurity.

Yet world agricultural production must increase 60 percent by the middle of this century – less than 40 years from now – to keep pace with the food requirements of the world’s growing population,” said the Deputy Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Dan Gustafson at the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Read the full article HERE

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