£6.4 million grant to develop genetically modified crops

British scientists have won a £6.4 million grant to develop GM crops - one of the largest single investments into genetic modification in the UK. The money was awarded by the Gates Foundation and will be used to cultivate corn, wheat and rice that need little or no fertiliser.

Genetically modified oilseed rape Credit: Press Association

It is hoped the work at the John Innes Centre in Norwich will benefit struggling maize farmers in sub-Saharan Africa who cannot afford to treat their crops. Scientists are trying to engineer cereal crops capable of taking nitrogen from the air rather than needing chemical ammonia spread on fields.