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Scientists explain how plants resist drought

February 15th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the University of Illinois investigated the molecular mechanism that enables plants to lessen water loss while facing drought. They focused on a key hormone known as abscisic acid (ABA) which binds to a protein (PYL receptor) and then causes a series of reactions leading to the closing of …

Pests, disease seen hitting southern African food output

February 15th, 2017 / Reuters, Africa

Crop pests and diseases sweeping through southern Africa pose a threat to food security in a region where production has yet to recover from drought, a senior U.N. food agency official said on Tuesday, calling for a swift and coordinated response.
At the start of an emergency conference called by the …

Examining the folly of “I’m not a scientist …”

February 15th, 2017 / News & Guts.com

Paul Nurse and Dan Rather have both spent their lives looking at the world and how it works, albeit from very different perspectives. Now the Nobel Prize winning geneticist and esteemed journalist come together for a frank and thoughtful conversation on the state of science and its role in society. …

9 agriculture technology startups to keep you fed

February 15th, 2017 / Nanalyze.com

The term “food security” is another way of saying that we might not have enough food to feed everyone on this shrinking planet. According to The World Bank, we need to produce at least 50% more food to feed 9 billion people by 2050. Any sort of problems we may …

Farmers urged to embrace organic fertilizer

February 15th, 2017 / Sahel Standard, Nigeria

Farmers have been urged to embrace organic fertilisers hence it is superior alternative to artificial fertilizer.
This charge was made in Abuja during the launch of ‘Greenfelt’ organic fertilizer in the market.
Yakubu Yasukuma, who represented the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the product will be subjected …

Search for targeted pesticides leads scientists to eavesdrop on crosstalk between plants & fungi

February 13th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In the conversation between plants and fungi, the organisms rely on a well-worn mechanism of gene-expression regulation that has stood the test of evolutionary time: RNA interference (RNAi). Listening in on the RNA crosstalk between plants and their pathogens could reveal previously unknown facets of basic plant biology, and point …

Genetics to guide coffee breeding

February 13th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Genetic modification (GM) is the future of coffee and the scientists have made their findings public. “With this information in hand, producers can begin to more accurately breed coffee varieties, as opposed to traditional selective breeding where you see a trait you like and breed …

Armyworms are wreaking havoc in southern Africa. Why it’s a big deal

February 13th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

A combination of native African armyworms and Fall armyworms from the Americas are ravaging staple crops across southern Africa. If uncontrolled, they have the potential to cause major food shortages. The Conversation Africa’s energy and environment editor Ozayr Patel asked Kenneth Wilson to explain the threat and what can be …

Agricultural technology can’t be ignored – Kenya ‘on the brink’

February 10th, 2017

Kenya is on the brink of embracing biotechnology in agriculture. The MIT Technology Review made the claim in October: ‘Kenya is thought to be on the brink of reversing its ban on GM imports.’ The news and commentary website Grist said it in June: ‘Kenya is on the brink of …

New technique kills two maize pests

February 10th, 2017 / Sunrise, Uganda

An experiment meant to evaluate the effectiveness of a resistant maize variety against the devastating maize stem borer developed by Ugandan researchers has proved successful in controlling yet another hazardous pest, the leaf eater that had proved a menace to farmers across the Uganda especially during the dry season.
According to …