In honor of today being International Women’s Day, and March representing National Women’s Month, I’d like to profile a few of the influential women working at the intersection of science and food and agriculture. Read more
Bill Gates has a message for those advocating against genetically modified organisms: I’m disappointed. Read more
The cultivation of genetically engineered (GMO) crops hit record levels in 2016, with 18 million farmers planting 185.1 million hectares of biotech crops globally, according to a new report.
In 2016, the global area of biotech crops reached 185.1 million hectares, according to a research paper authored by Drs. Rhodora Aldemita and Randy Hautea of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). The results of their study are published on February 2, 2018 in GM Crops and Food. Read more
When most of us think about the threats posed by climate change, events like floods, droughts, intense storms and hotter temperatures come to mind. These are all, according to the vast majority of scientists, exactly what we can expect to see more and more of. However, what is often overlooked are the sociopolitical consequences of these climatic changes. In other words, we tend to view these natural disasters in a vacuum without recognizing the myriad ways in which climate change is both directly and indirectly shaping economies, cultures and governments. Read more
Professor Calestous Juma: June 9, 1953 – Dec. 15, 2017
To outsiders, Calestous Juma’s rise from humble origins in a remote Kenyan village to an internationally recognized Harvard scholar, science writer and public intellectual, might have seemed improbable. But as Juma himself liked to tell the story, he learned innovation from his parents, whose poverty meant that they constantly had to change to survive.
The European Union together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged on Tuesday (12 December) more than €500 million over the next three years for research and innovation in agriculture.
Global genetically modified crop area rebounded in 2016 and increased 3 percent from 2015 to a new high of 457 million acres.
Actually, I want more than just having Golden Rice — I want it to be widely available to people who eat rice as a staple food. And I want to see the results of that consumption in the decrease in the number of children worldwide who go blind because of vitamin A deficiency.
Gene editing technology is expected to accelerate the introduction of new plants
Genetically modified crops are continuing to spread across the world’s agricultural land. Last year they covered a record 185m hectares, 3 per cent up on 2015.
The 2017 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium held recently in Iowa had a strong ICRISAT presence. ICRISAT’s Ambassador of Goodwill Dr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina was honored as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate in the main event and at one of the sub-events, the crucial role agricultural biotechnology plays in facilitating nutritious, healthy and sustainable consumer food choices was underlined by ICRISAT scientist Dr Pooja Bhatnagar-Mathur. The theme of the symposium was ‘The Road out of Poverty’.
So Monsanto has dodged the bullet — for now. The European Union has just voted to relicense the controversial herbicide glyphosate — marketed as Roundup — for another five years. That’s far less than the 15 years initially sought, but much better than the total immediate ban sought by some countries and legions of vocal environmental activists.
A range of biotechnological approaches, including both traditional techniques and modern interventions, can contribute towards achieving food and nutrition security.
The words of Noble Laureate and father of the Green Revolution Norman Borlaug, “You cannot create a peaceful world on empty stomachs,” ring true in the present times, when we are facing the mammoth task of feeding a growing population, expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.
The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that up to 35 percent of the losses in the annual crop production worldwide are due to pests—insects, weeds, plant diseases, rodents and birds. Of the estimated 1 million insects in the world, between 150 and 200 species frequently cause serious damage to crops.
When losses due to pests are combined with postharvest losses, worldwide food losses would amount to 45 percent. “This is almost one half of the world’s potential food supply,” the FAO pointed out. Read more
Agriculture could be defined as the manipulation of plant and animal DNA to suit the needs of humans. We have been changing the DNA of our food for 10,000 years. For most of agricultural history, we’ve had no idea what DNA changes occurred in our food. The discovery of recombinant DNA technologies in the 1970s began to change that. For the past 20 years we have been using genetic engineering (GE) to engineer precise DNA changes in our food.
Only a better understanding of fundamental plant processes can exploit the potential of GM technology to create higher yielding, more resilient food crops
Genetic modification of plants will be essential to avert future food shortages, conclude a group of agricultural scientists who have reviewed how biotechnology developments over the past 35 years have shaped the efficiency of crop production.
The Cornell Alliance for Science is launching a “$10M by 2020” campaign, seeded with a $6.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Funds raised during the campaign will support the Alliance’s global efforts to ensure broad access to agricultural innovation, especially among small-holder farmers in developing nations.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that the smallholder farmers in the world’s hungriest and most populous region need greater access to biotechnologies to improve food and nutrition security and fight poverty
FAO urges countries in the Asia-Pacific region to adopt a more holistic approach and consider the wider range of low-to-high-tech solutions present in the biotechnology toolbox to achieve the food and nutrition security in the region. Read more
Although many papers have been published claiming that genetically engineered (GMO) foods are harmful and that humans aren’t changing the climate, not a single one of them stands up to rigorous scientific scrutiny.
With the recent uptick in extreme weather events around the world — exemplified by catastrophic flooding in Nigeria, Houston and India, all in the same week, followed by multiple hurricanes in the Atlantic — climate change is back in the headlines, and with it a resurgence of skeptical claims denying the existence of an international scientific consensus on global warming.
Yogendra Sahoo makes all of his income from cultivating rice in his 5-acre farm in the Jajpur District of Odisha, India. His village is situated a bit above the coast, and every year Sahoo’s crops face rain, water scarcity, and damage from submergence. In 2015, he was the first farmer in his village to grow BINA Dhan 11, a submergence-tolerant rice variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines. While most farmers faced a yield of 1,700 kg per acre for different varieties, Sahoo gained 1,200 kg per half an acre.