GMO Cotton Approved for Plantations

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has approved the cultivation of Genetically Modified Cotton in Ethiopia.

Undergoing two seasons (years) of confined field trials, the genetically modified cotton – best known as BT-Cotton – has finally secured the approval from the Ministry for “environmental release” or for the cultivation of the biotechnologically engineered cotton for commercial purposes.

Read more

Using Plants to Produce Dengue Vaccine

DENGUE fever, a disease that infects almost 400 million people worldwide every year, is Malaysia’s most prevalent infectious disease.

Carried by Aedes mosquitoes, the dengue virus causes severe headaches, muscle and joint pains, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, fever and rash. In some cases, it can be life threatening.

With no promising treatment so far, a team of scientists from the University of Nottingham Malaysia has started working on a project to create a plant-based vaccine, which, if successful, would provide a safe and cost effective way to prevent this disease.

Read more

Alibaba Launches AI-backed Agricultural Tool to Boost Income for China’s Farmers

Raising the income of China’s farmers and well-being in rural communities remains a priority for the government. China’s largest e-commerce operator Alibaba on Thursday launched its ‘

’ in Shanghai, a digital tool aimed at boosting agricultural efficiency, crop yields and income for China’s farmers by enabling them to make better use of big data.

Read more

Smart Tech to Help PHL Achieve Sustainable Agri Goals

The Philippines is hoping to modernize and strengthen its agriculture sector, with both the state and private companies promoting the adoption of advanced technology and smart farming methods to increase harvests and minimize losses.

In early April officials broke ground on the country’s first state-funded smart farm, part of the P128-million ($2.5-million) Smart Plant Production in Controlled Environments (SPICE) program, designed to develop and promote urban farming and high-tech plant conservation.

Read more

Will Gene Editing and Other New Breeding Techniques Provide a ‘Second Chance’ for Worldwide Embrace of Genetically Engineered Crops?

Responding to attacks from the anti-GMO movement,” an exasperated geneticist once said to me, “is like trying to stuff a squiggly octopus into a small box; whenever you think you’ve got it contained, you realize there is a tentacle dangling out somewhere.”

That was certainly the case in 2012. For the first time in years, the public debate over genetically engineered (GE) crops had begun to shift in the favor of science and an embrace of the safety of “GMOs” (a term coined by the anti-biotechnology movement to demonize genetic innovation; after all, who would want to eat a ‘modified organism’?!).

Read more

USDA’s Hands-off Approach to Gene-edited Crops Could Revolutionize Research and Development

The US Department of Agriculture’s recent decision to stay out of the business of regulating gene-edited crops could be a game changer for a sector long dominated by a handful of companies armed with massive research and development budgets.

Read more

Golden Rice Bags International Food Safety Nod

The controversial Golden Rice, which is still being pushed in the Philippines, got a positive evaluation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), concurring the variety’s safety and nutrition.

Read more

CRISPR-Edited Rice Plants Produce Major Boost in Grain Yield

A team of scientists from Purdue University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has used CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology to develop a variety of rice that produces 25-31 percent more grain and would have been virtually impossible to create through traditional breeding methods.

Read more

Rebooting Food: Finding New Ways to Feed the Future

Banana trees that fit in a test tube. Burgers made without a cow in sight. Fish farmed in the desert. Robots picking fruit.

Welcome to the brave new world of food, where scientists are battling a global time-bomb of climate change, water scarcity, population growth and soaring obesity rates to find new ways to feed the future.

Read more