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Saving coffee from extinction

May 24th, 2015 / BBC.co.uk

“Richer countries buy it, roast it and drink it, but have not paid for the agronomy. Only now is the industry waking up and seeing the need for it. The coffee industry has realised no-one else is doing it – it’s going to have to be us,” says Dr …

Reliance on trade makes food systems vulnerable

May 24th, 2015 / SciDec.net

Boosting international trade may not be the best way to improve food security, as it makes many countries vulnerable to food shortages caused by market fluctuations, according to new research. Read …

Debating GMOs

May 24th, 2015 / MagicValley.com

“The anti-GMO movement has been more successful in undermining science than the anti-climate changers or the anti-vaccinators,” says Mark Lynas, GMO supporter Read …

African countries urged to embrace smart agriculture

May 23rd, 2015 / Zambia Daily Mail

African countries must embrace climate smart agriculture practices if the continent is to attain food security and nutrition in the face of climate change, says New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Director of Programmes Estherine Fotabong. Read …

Disease and flood tolerant rice

May 23rd, 2015 / National Geographic, US

Plant pathologist and geneticist at the University of California, Davis, Pamela Ronald’s lab has isolated genes from rice that can resist diseases and tolerate floods. When those genes are inserted into existing rice plants, they help farmers grow high-yield harvests in places where the crop is a vulnerable staple. …

The GMO that could feed 1 billion people: C4 rice explained

May 22nd, 2015 / International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

VIDEO: C4 rice (http://c4rice.irri.org) is a genetically modified crop projected to save one billion people by 2025. It’ll give us up to 50% more rice “for free” – much more rice will be grown, for the people who most need it, without any extra resources being used up. Read …

School farm, where they start young

May 22nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Loninda Afedraru reports: “It always thought that it is the older people in mostly rural areas that engage in any agriculture, and that the youths are more interested in anything but the farm. But this may be a misconception. Ask the girls at Gayaza High School who are …

Aflatoxin contamination costs Tanzanian agriculture greatly

May 22nd, 2015 / Xinhua News Agency

Tanzania is losing over 332 million U.S. dollars annually from the negative impacts of aflatoxin, a deadly toxin affecting cereal crops like maize, sorghum, rice, wheat, groundnuts and cassava, researchers said on Wednesday. “Agricultural products contaminated with aflatoxin poses a major threat to human and animal health,” said Bendantunguka Tiisekwa, …

Cabbages trump coffee for Tanzania’s climate-stressed farmers

May 21st, 2015 / Reuters

The 72-year-old farmer from Moshi Rural district in Tanzania’s northern Kilimanjaro region depended for decades on coffee farming. But climate shifts, together with a rust disease that causes trees to shrink and become unproductive, have decimated his yields. So he’s turned to cabbages, onions, lettuce and potatoes – and he …

UG signs $2.9m agreement to improve agriculture research

May 21st, 2015 / Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

Agriculture experts at the University of Ghana say the country will encounter challenges with food security by 2050 if new food security crops are not developed. To prevent this danger, the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and the School of Agriculture sought a $2.9m assistance to facilitate research into …