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Investment key in adapting to climate change in West Africa

March 26th, 2017 / IIASA

Climate change will likely have negative impacts on food production in West Africa, but a new study provides insights on how strategic planning by decision makers could ease or exacerbate food security challenges in the region.
Climate projections for West Africa show that crop yields and grass for livestock grazing are …

Efficiency of public spending will enhance agriculture productivity for poverty reduction in Africa

March 26th, 2017 / The Financial

Reforms in public spending would boost agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, raising farmer’s incomes, and promoting broader economic growth, says a new World Bank report released on March 23.
Reaping Richer Returns: Public Spending Priorities for African Agriculture Productivity Growth explores the performance of agricultural spending in Africa, and presents a …

The inside guide to African drought

March 23rd, 2017 / AllAfrica

Farmers, traders and consumers across East and Southern Africa are feeling the impact of consecutive seasons of drought that have scorched harvests and ruined livelihoods. The El Niño-driven crisis has increased the malnutrition rates of rural children, and driven up food prices for urban residents. Livestock deaths and fire …

Drought tolerant wheat on the way

March 21st, 2017 / Agriculture.com

Look for a grinning, midsize lab-coat guy this winter, wearing dark glasses possibly, at the CFIA Variety Registration Office in Ottawa or Toronto. Julian Northey plans to be there, toting his paperwork, to register a new durum wheat for trials in western Canada.
If it happens and if it holds up …

The business case for soil

March 17th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Nobody likes dirty business, but the business world must get to grips with dirt. Soil provides food, fibres and fuels, and regulates water resources and climate. Yet most businesses are unaware that their bottom lines depend on soil; nor are they aware of the risks they face from its degradation. …

Crops you harvest in less than six months

March 17th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Currently, due to climate change as a result of deforestation, reclamation of swamps, and industrialisation, among other factors, traditional farmers who depended on the traditional crop growing calendar of March are no longer to tell seasons due to unpredictable dry spells, since there was no mitigation.
This, in part, implies that …

BT cotton varieties with reusable seeds

March 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Scientists at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in India has developed genetically engineered Bt cotton seeds that can be reused, thus saving farmers’ input costs. These cotton varieties are PAU Bt 1 and F1861. Rajasthan Agricultural University also developed RS 2013. The F1861 and RS 2013 varieties were transformed into Bt …

Unlocking the power of African soil microbes

March 17th, 2017 / Scientific American

Like the developed world, the African continent soil also harbors billions of beneficial soil bacteria that can be utilized to revolutionize African agriculture. And for many smallholder farmers across Africa who have few resources, microbe inoculants can open new opportunities. Such opportunities can range from increase in crop yields to …

Glyphosate: dangerous chemical or anti-GMO bogeyman?

March 17th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

No other chemical in modern agriculture has attracted as much scrutiny and criticism as glyphosate. The herbicide–widely sold generically but also under the trade name of Roundup, and originally patented by Monsanto–has been used in home gardens and by farmers for decades. It has played a key role in the …

Raising crop productivity in Africa through intensification

March 14th, 2017 / Agronomy, Switzerland

The population of Africa will double in the next 33 years to reach 2.5 billion by 2050. Although roughly 60% of the continent’s population is engaged in agriculture, the produce from this sector cannot feed its citizens. Hence, in 2013 alone, Africa imported 56.5 million tons of wheat, maize, and …