Buffet Foundation funds development of GM sorghum for Africa
According to Reuters, the Howard G. Buffet Foundation is providing a $4 million grant to support efforts to develop genetically modified sorghum for Africa that is fortified with vitamins.
“Improving the nutrition of this staple crop has the potential to change the lives of more than 300 million Africans,” said Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and father of Howard G. Buffet. The Howard G. Buffet Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for the world’s most impoverished populations, often through agricultural productivity. Read more.
CNBC Special Report discusses role of ag tech in world food supply
A CNBC Special Report on Food Economics says agricultural biotechnology is gaining a bigger role in helping to improve global crop yields. The article points out that diseases and insects reduce global crop production by 35 percent. Biotech crops with insect and disease resistance and drought tolerance help farmers produce healthy crops. Read more.
Research on GM wheat could improve yields and drought tolerance
The New York Times reports that GM research by private companies could lead to drought-tolerant and high-yield genetically modified wheat. Research focuses on “strengthening the rooting structure of wheat, enhancing the intake of water, increasing the plant’s biomass and facilitating CO2 absorption.” Read more.
Increasing number of African countries conducting GM crop trials
According to Reuters, more African countries are likely to start growing genetically modified crops. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Mali, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Ghana are conducting research and field trials of GM crops such as rice, wheat and sorghum, which may lead to their adoption. Ephraim Mukisira, a director at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, said, “We should rely on biotechnology to prevent further losses in yields and performance of crops. We need to expedite scientific methods that reduce time needed to develop new crop varieties.” Read more.
Forbes blog: Regulation of GM crops hurts agricultural trade
In a Forbes blog, Dr. Henry Miller, founding director of the Office of Biotechnology at the FDA and current fellow at the Hoover Institution, says that “discriminatory” government regulations of genetically modified crops around the world have unintended economic consequences, such as disrupting billions of dollars of agricultural trade in export markets.
“The best and most definitive solution of all would be for the harmonization of regulatory approaches in order to eliminate the existing discrimination against and excessive regulation of innocuous genetically engineered plants.” Read more.