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Extreme weather to foil Sahel knowledge

December 7th, 2015 / SciDev.net

Technology and expertise from outside are needed to support traditional knowledge and help people in Africa’s arid Sahel region cope with climate change, according to researchers. A side event at COP 21, the UN’s climate change summit in Paris, France, heard that those living in the region have …

Beta carotene-fortified potatoes paving way for biofortified African cassava

December 4th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project

The humble potato has potential to become an important source of beta-carotene and may lead to more nutritious cassava crops in developing countries, thanks to newly patented research from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI). Scientiests are looking to apply lessons learned in potatoes to cassava plants. Biofortified cassava roots could …

Efforts to ‘turbocharge’ rice and reduce world hunger enter important new phase

December 4th, 2015 / Danforth Center

A long-term project aimed at improving photosynthesis in rice is entering its third stage, marking another step on the road to significantly increased crop yields that will help meet the food needs of billions of people across the developing world. Led by scientists at Oxford University, this phase of the …

The elephant in the room at Paris climate talks: why food production must change

December 4th, 2015 / The Conversation

The grand political narratives around the COP21 conference in Paris will barely touch on one crucial aspect – food. Getting the whole food system to change is a seriously big challenge. But one thing is clear: no change in how we produce food means no gain in climate change prevention. …

A hidden side of climate change adaptation: identifying and developing drought-tolerant crops

December 3rd, 2015 / Thomas Reuters Foundation

Through conventional yet smart plant breeding, ICRISAT aims to create new drought-tolerant and productive crop varieties in a faster way, so that smallholder farmers in Africa or South Asia have the right climate-adapted crops to cope with a 2 degrees warmer climate. Read …

What place for agricultural innovation at COP-21?

December 3rd, 2015 / Devex

Those who feed the world are already carrying the burden of climate change. Drought, floods and extreme weather events are adversely affecting smallholder farmers on every continent, causing hunger, poverty, death, and putting future food security in jeopardy. But as Paris negotiations begin in earnest, how much attention and resources …

Uganda: Farmers, scientists, policy makers discuss climate-smart agriculture

December 3rd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali

Farmers and agriculture officers from various districts participated in a three-day-conference in which they interacted with policy makers, scientists, and researchers. The conference, whose theme was “Advancing Agro-biosciences and Innovations for Climate Smart Agriculture”, was held 22-25 November at Makerere University, and addressed food insecurity, nutrition, and crop diseases.
Read …

OPINION | To feed the world in 2050 will require a global revolution

December 2nd, 2015 / PNAS

Achieving universal food security is a staggering challenge. Large population size, high per capita consumption, and inequality of wealth or income can each (and especially in combination) impede attempts to achieve progressive and effective policies that will be needed to reverse the trend toward persistent maldistribution and environmental degradation. But …

How African countries are addressing soil infertility

December 2nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru

Farmers in Africa are faced with a number of challenges that lead to infertile soils, which in turn affect farm productivity. Stakeholders from the public and private sectors are partnering to sensitise farmers on how they can keep soils fertile for improved agricultural production.
Read …

University-made Roundup Ready seeds ready for market

December 1st, 2015 / Harvet Public Media, US

After the patent on one of the most popular versions of genetically engineered soybeans expired this year, U.S. universities are creating new generic GMO soybean varieties, many of which are designed to guard against specific, local pests. Ninety percent of soybean seeds planted in the U.S. are genetically engineered …