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Help improve online data on agricultural biodiversity

October 26th, 2015 / Biodiversity International

In 2015, the GBIF Secretariat and Bioversity International created a ‘Task Group on Data Fitness for Use in Agrobiodiversity’ to improve the quality and quantity of data on the GBIF portal that are important to agricultural biodiversity research and policy communities. These include data on agricultural biodiversity monitoring, gaps in …

Facing drought-induced food shortage, Zimbabwe confronts GMO dilemma

October 26th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Zimbabwe is facing a crippling maize (staple in Zimbabwe) shortage. Vice President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has revealed that the cash strapped government needs at least US$300 million to import 700 000 tons of maize to meet national consumption. And According to the World Food Program (WFP), Zimbabwe’s food crisis …

We need the farms of the future today

October 26th, 2015 / Newsweek, US

The world population is expected to grow to 9.6 billion by 2050, and according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), if we want to avoid mass malnutrition, we’re going to have to up our food production by 70 percent by 2050. The problem is most …

Delivering Sustainable Development Goals in Africa

October 23rd, 2015 / International Policy Digest, US

Achieving the SDGs effectively, in a fast, efficient, impactful and lasting way will require innovative action from all. The World Bank reports that in Africa, a 10% increase in crop yields translates to approximately a 7% reduction in poverty. Growth in agriculture is at least two to four times more …

Using radioactive material to increase Africa’s crop yields

October 23rd, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

A tech that uses radioactive material is increasing crop yields in some nations. It has raised tea yields by 17 per cent in Tanzania and aided water use in Ghana.An expert hopes other African nations would adopt it to spur food security. Read …

UNR researchers seek to improve teff grain production

October 23rd, 2015 / Carson Now, US

“Teff is now in high demand as a highly nutritious, gluten-free grain suitable for consumption by gluten-intolerant persons. … As demand for this crop increases it make sense for us to develop better varieties with increased drought tolerance and yield stability under drier conditions. Another advantage of teff is that …

Drought-tolerant maize improves yields in 13 countries

October 22nd, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

A new project has begun following the end of a related initiative that has provided more than 200 improved maize varieties for farmers in 13 Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project launched eight years ago under the Global Maize Program of the International Maize and …

Ambitious climate deal is key to achieving zero hunger

October 22nd, 2015 / Agriculture for Impact

The two biggest challenges we are confronted with this century is managing climate change and ending poverty and hunger. As Lord Stern recently put it: if we fail at one, we will fail on the other. We cannot achieve a world of zero hunger if we do not tackle climate …

Feeding sub-Saharan Africa

October 22nd, 2015 / IntoBiology

In the west, we’ve spent 50 years relying on increasing food yields by adding nitrogen-based fertilisers to the soils. But it’s not an approach that seems to be working for the millions of smallholder farmers across western and central Africa. Local farmers, agronomists and scientists from across the world are …

Gene helps plants use hardly digestible organic phosphorous

October 21st, 2015 / ISAAA, US

Natural stocks of phosphorous are expected to last for the next 60 years, but researchers from Kazan University in Russia are looking for ways to prevent a catastrophe as excess phytate levels in the soil pose a long-term risk for sustainable agriculture.
Read …