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‘Supercharging’ rice with maize gene increases yields by 50 per cent

October 25th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

To improve photosynthesis in rice and increase crop yields, scientists working on the Oxford University-led C4 Rice Project have, by introducing a single maize gene to the plant, moved towards ‘supercharging’ rice to the level of more efficient crops.
Rice uses the C3 photosynthetic pathway, which in hot, dry environments is …

Peptides could revolutionise how food is grown

October 25th, 2017 / ABC News, Australia

Scientists say the discovery of a group of hormones in plants could revolutionise food production by improving yields.
The Universities of Queensland and Sydney collaborated on the study, which has found about 130 CLE peptide hormones in legumes that were essential to growth and development.
Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Integrative …

As Africa’s need for food grows, Mali’s rice turnaround shows a way forward

October 23rd, 2017 / Reuters

In 2008, as food prices rose around the world, riots broke out in West Africa, and Mali’s government stepped in.
It quickly launched an initiative to subsidise purchases of good-quality certified rice seed, as well as fertilisers, for farmers, in an effort to cut reliance on rice imports and grow more …

Urgent action needed to address Africa’s soil health issues

October 23rd, 2017 / Business Day Online

One of the best prospects for feeding Africa’s rapidly growing population is to increase the sustainable use of fertilizers, a high-level panel of experts is expected to say today at an international meeting of the World Food Prize.
Despite 10-year-old commitments to expand the use of fertilizer in African agriculture, the …

African agriculture needs modernisation to save $110bn by 2025 – Adesina

October 23rd, 2017 / The News, Nigeria

The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said that Africa needef to modernise and industrialise agriculture to avoid spending 110 billion dollars by 2025 on food importation.
Adesina said this in his remark at the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue Symposium on making farming cool: Investing in future African farmers …

Research that’s revolutionising the way we build food and nutrition security in Africa

October 18th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as “orphan crops” shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research among these crops mainly to …

AfDB urges African leaders to make agriculture attractive to young Africans and stem migration

October 18th, 2017 / Modern Ghana

On the occasion of the 2017 World Food Day, the African Development Bank has highlighted how Africa’s food security depends on attracting young people to agriculture and agribusiness. The sector can potentially create wealth and employment for African youth, thereby stemming migration.
World Food Day, celebrated yearly on October 16, promotes …

Young farmers inspire optimism for our ‘Future Harvest’

October 17th, 2017 / World Bank

To commemorate World Food Day, we’re celebrating young farmers who are working to feed the world and improve food security through innovation, collaboration and hard work. The World Bank recently hosted an event highlighting farmers who are finding profit and purpose in agriculture.
Journalist Femi Oke moderated the panel, which …

The future of farming in Africa is not agriculture but agribusiness

October 17th, 2017 / Quartz Africa

Africa is a farm lover’s dream: abundant uncultivated arable land, roughly over half the global total; tropical climates that permit long growing seasons; a young labor force; and an expanding population that provides a readily available market for produce consumption.
Yet, African countries are yet to harness these opportunities to ensure …

Akinwumi Adesina on investing in Africa

October 17th, 2017 / World Policy

“First and foremost, the most influential challenge that Africa faces is infrastructure, and on top of that agenda is electricity. Today, we have 645 million people in Africa who don’t have access to electricity, and there’s no way that a continent like Africa can develop in the dark. Electricity can …