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Intercropping formula promises food security in Sahel Africa

November 20th, 2017 / Science Daily

Two crops or one? Sometimes, growing two crops simultaneously on the same piece of land — called intercropping — can benefit farmers. But it needs careful planning and resource management.
In some parts of Africa, farmers intercrop sorghum — a grain — and peanuts. But they face a major information gap. …

GM banana shows promise against deadly fungus strain

November 20th, 2017 / Science, US

A field trial in Australia has shown that genetically modified banana trees can resist the deadly fungus that causes Panama disease, which has devastated banana crops in Asia, Africa, and Australia and is a major threat for banana growers in the Americas. The transgenic plants might reach some farmers in …

Six steps to speed up climate-smart breeding in roots, tubers and bananas

November 20th, 2017 / CGIAR Roots, Tubers and Bananas

Research centers and their partners have made good progress toward harnessing the potential of roots, tubers and bananas to improve food security, nutrition and smallholder incomes, but scientists are concerned that impacts of climate change could undercut many of those gains in the coming years.
In response to this threat, a …

High-tech tracker to battle ancient wheat plague

November 16th, 2017 / AllAfrica

“People can walk through an infected field, unknowingly pick up a few spores on their clothes, then get on a plane and accidentally take the disease to other countries or continents”
The tracking technology used to halt the deadly Ebola and Zika viruses could now be turned against wheat rust as …

Increasing groundnut safety and value in Ghana

November 16th, 2017 / Agrilinks

An underrecognized aspect of postharvest loss is contamination of crops with fungal toxins. Aflatoxins, a class of such toxins, cause serious health problems, including liver cancer, and are suspected of contributing to stunting in children. Due to ecological, climatic and agronomic factors, aflatoxin contamination is especially common in sub-Saharan Africa. …

African youth go digital to keep climate-smart farming alive

November 16th, 2017 / Climate Home

Mobile applications and online forums help young Africans make a living from farming amid changing weather, delegates hear on the sidelines of climate talks in Bonn.
African campaigners are promoting digital tools to keep young people involved in farming and prevent migration, delegates heard on the sidelines of climate talks in …

FAO launches new Climate-Smart Agriculture web platform

November 15th, 2017 / Reliefweb

To help steer our food systems in a sustainable direction, FAO has produced a new sourcebook for how to implement “climate-smart” approaches to agriculture, launched today at the Agriculture Action Day on the sidelines of the COP23 climate summit in Bonn.
“Hunger, poverty, and climate can be tackled together through approaches …

A breakthrough on agriculture on the cards at COP23

November 15th, 2017 / Down to Earth, India

Draft document on agriculture stresses on assessment of risks, a differentiation of vulnerability and actions required based on farming systems and agro-ecological zones.
Events throughout the day focused on the need to step up adaptation and mitigation finance to help the agricultural sector cope better and build climate-resilient agriculture to offset …

Increased food production and reduced water use through optimized crop distribution

November 14th, 2017 / Nature Geoscience, UK

Growing demand for agricultural commodities for food, fuel and other uses is expected to be met through an intensification of production on lands that are currently under cultivation. Intensification typically entails investments in modern technology — such as irrigation or fertilizers — and increases in cropping frequency in regions suitable …

Wheat leaf disease, a potential threat

November 14th, 2017 / Farmers' Weekly, South Africa

Outbreaks of a previously unknown wheat leaf disease have been reported in South Africa, which could have a serious impact on food security and sustainable wheat production in the country.
The disease involved severe discolouration of wheat leaves and, according to Dr Tarekegn Terefe, senior researcher at ARC-Small Grain in Bethlehem, …