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Doubled-up legume technologies in conservation agriculture show potential for scale up

May 18th, 2017 / Africa Rising

Smallholder farming systems in southern Africa are faced with challenges such as declining soil fertility, low productivity and profitability and the increased need to adapt to climate variability and change. Sustainable intensification of both legume- and maize-based farming systems is needed to increase food, nutrition and income security for smallholders.
Since …

Overexpression of galactinol synthase gene improves drought tolerance in rice

May 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Enhancing drought tolerance without grain yield penalty has been a challenge for plant breeders and crop improvement. A team of researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia, and various universities and research institutions in Japan evaluated the Arabidopsis thaliana galactinol synthase 2 gene (AtGolS2). The team overexpressed …

Action plan developed to tackle fall armyworm in Africa

May 16th, 2017 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: Research that explores the interaction between fall armyworm life patterns and insecticide spray timing is urgently needed to tackle the pest currently devastating maize in Africa, scientists say.
The fall armyworm, scientifically called Spodoptera frugiperda, is native to the Americas, and attacks maize and a variety …

Efforts towards improving sorghum varieties

May 16th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

In Ethiopia, teff, wheat, maize, sorghum and barley are grown on nearly three quarters of the total arable plots of land. The production and productivity of these crops have shown increment due to the implementation of rigorous researches, provision of various inputs, and application of modern agricultural technologies among other …

Disastrous tomato pest, Tuta Absoluta, returns

May 16th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Nigeria: The Gombe State Agricultural Development Project, ADP, says that the tomato pest, Tuta Absoluta, has seriously affected tomato harvests in three of the state’s 11 local government areas.
Tuta absoluta, a destructive tomato pest, ravaged many tomato farms across Nigeria in 2016 causing an astronomical increase in the market price …

Adapting to climate smart agriculture by Ugandan farmer

May 15th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: It is now a fact that we are locked into global warming and the current changes in climatic patterns have a direct impact on rainfall variability as well as the frequency of weather extremes. Our TV screens have displayed dying livestock due to severe drought …

New strains of staple crops serve up essential vitamins

May 15th, 2017 / Horizons, EU

More nutritious versions of staple crops could increase daily vitamin and mineral intake for millions of people with poor diets, helping to overcome undernourishment that can cause blindness, brittle bones, feeble muscles and brain damage.
Millions of people around the world hardly have enough food to survive. Many millions more may …

Nominate someone for the Africa Food Prize – could it be YOU

May 12th, 2017 / Africa Food Proze

The nomination process for the Africa Food Prize starts with nominations being sent to the Africa Food Prize Secretariat. The Africa Food Prize Secretariat then assists the Africa Food Prize Committee to screen and select candidates.
The Africa Food Prize Committee chooses the Africa Food Prize winner by unanimous vote. The …

Video: Obama on GMOs — ‘Humanity has always engaged in genetic modifications’

May 12th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In one of his first public appearances since leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama opened up about his views on GMOs and gene-edited food — topics he shied away from during his eight years in office.
After a quick $3.26 million speech at the Seeds & Chips Global Food …

African government urged to attract youth into agriculture

May 12th, 2017 / Ghana News Agency

African governments and other stakeholders have been urged to encourage the youth to embrace agriculture and to let them understand that they could make money from the sector and its value-chains.
Mr Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Africa, who made the call, said there was also …