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USAID offers prize money to combat Fall armyworm in Africa

April 26th, 2018 / VOA News

The U.S. Agency for International Development is offering a prize of $150,000 for the most viable solution, two awards of $75,000 to the “most promising” solutions, and two awards of $50,000 to an “early stage” solution that shows the most potential. Read …

India in a race against wilt in Cavendish banana

April 25th, 2018 / Business Line

Tropical Race 4 (TR4), the virulent strain of fungus Fusarium oxysporum cubense that is threatening banana crop globally with the fusarium wilt disease, has hit the plantations in India, the world’s top producer of the fruit. The devastating disease which surfaced in the Cavendish group of bananas in parts of Bihar is …

Millets and sorghum: forgotten foods for the future

April 25th, 2018 / Food Tank

Millets and sorghum are grains that are nutrient-rich, drought-tolerant crops and can support communities around the world. The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in partnership with Feed the Future’s Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) Program, is developing innovative methods to make these grains attractive again in the …

Mozambique looks to improved seeds as it struggles with the impacts of a changing climate

April 25th, 2018 / Alliance for Science

The National Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM) is developing a number of improved seeds to help farmers, including the drought-tolerant Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) varieties. Though the research is still in its early stages in Mozambique, scientists and other stakeholders are upbeat WEMA will make vast difference …

How rice became one of the world’s most important food crops

April 24th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

Rice is a world food staple with an incredible story. Susan McCouch from Cornell University has been studying rice genetics for decades, and directs efforts in rice education in conjunction with the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. This episode of the Talking Biotech podcast features stories about rice …

Banana experts converge in Tanzania for meeting

April 24th, 2018 / AllAfrica

Agricultural experts are meeting today to discuss how to improve production of banana, a staple food in eastern and central Africa. In so doing, they will review a five-year project that aims to expand and speed up existing banana breeding efforts in Tanzania and Uganda. The breeding is intended to …

Maruti, the pigeonpea saviour

April 24th, 2018 / CGIAR

A direct release of the pigeonpea variety ICP 8863, also known as Maruti, from the ICRISAT genebank helped revitalize the pigeonpea industry in Karnataka, India. Maruti was released in 1986 at a time when the pigeonpea industry in parts of India was being hit hard by Fusarium wilt. Within a few seasons, Maruti …

Championing vitamin A–rich orange-fleshed sweet potato in Nigeria

April 23rd, 2018 / International Potato Center

Micronutrient malnutrition is widespread in Nigeria, particularly vitamin A deficiency, which affects at least 30% of the population. Women of reproductive age, infants and young children mostly are vulnerable to micronutrient malnutrition. Many of them suffer multiple deficiencies of essential micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron and zinc, which can …

Microbes in soil help sorghum stay strong against droughts

April 23rd, 2018 / Inside Science

Scientists want to know how one of the world’s most important grain crops, sorghum, can tolerate months of harsh, dry conditions. Now, for the first time, scientists have looked at the soil near sorghum plants to learn what role microbes play in the crop’s unique ability to endure drought. Scientists hope …

GCP21, IITA call for support of cassava transformation in Africa

April 23rd, 2018 / The Sun

The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have called on policymakers, donors and the international community to support efforts that will bring about cassava transformation in Africa. Despite the key role cassava is playing in Africa’s food security, its production has …