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Biofortification – a better, iron-rich bean

December 12th, 2016 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

One strategy for improving human health and the nutrition of resource poor people is increasing the iron content of beans. But what are the challenges for plant breeders?

Biofortification – a good strategy
Biofortification is a good strategy to improve the nutrition of resource poor people for a number of reasons:
• people …

Biofortification – the importance of iron

November 29th, 2016 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

This blog discusses the importance for health of iron in diets, and strategies for improving the nutritional status of target populations. Although not directly to do with plant genetics, it highlights many of the challenges facing plant scientists.

The common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris

Don’t spill your beans
The common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, native to an area between …

First drought-resilient, high iron beans for Uganda released

September 5th, 2016 / CIAT, Colombia

Five new bean varieties bred with high iron and resilience to the impacts of drought have been released in Uganda for the first time. The varieties – co-developed by the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), the Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB) and CIAT through HarvestPlus – were released as part …

Charcoal rot: a threat to staple food crops in South Africa

September 2nd, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Charcoal rot is caused by a fungus that invades various agricultural crops and gives them a charred appearance. The disease is becoming more widespread in South Africa – which is worrying, since it can dramatically affect crop yields which drives up prices and hits farmers’ incomes.
Charcoal rot attacks crops that …

He does his farming the smart way

August 25th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Henry Michael Ssali reports: Luka Kwesigabo from Ruhimbo in Kabingo Town Council practises mixed agriculture. He has his hands on various enterprises, which both mitigate the effects of climate change and earn him a decent living.
Armed with technical information from resource persons such as Sedrach Muhangi, a climatic …

Researchers identify characteristics improving bean’s resistance to drought

July 14th, 2016 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia have identified drought-resistant genotypes and the morpho-physiological characteristics that make beans resistant to drought. The study revealed that a strategic combination of characteristics is the key to success in genetic improvement of …

Science meets farming to reveal Africa’s best bean

March 28th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Around 23 million tonnes of beans are grown globally for trade and local consumption every year. Across the world, millions of farmers depend on one or more of the 40,000 known bean varieties. But beans are a fragile crop. They need lots of water and stable temperatures to grow. A …

Africa’s key food crops threatened

March 16th, 2016 / The East African, Kenya

Agriculture in parts of sub-Saharan Africa needs to be transformed for key food crops to be produced, a new study published in Nature Climate Change notes. The study examines region-by-region the likely effect of different climate change scenarios on nine crops that constitute 50 per cent of food production in …

Climate deadline looms for African food crops

March 8th, 2016 / BBC, UK

Researchers have produced a timescale of how projected climate change is set to alter the face of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change is widely projected to have a significant adverse impact on food security if no adaptation measures are taken, they explain. In their study, the team provides timings …

Climate change could make growing these crops in African regions impossible

March 8th, 2016 / Climate Change News

Global warming threatens some of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important crops, growers have been warned. Key cultivating regions could become unviable in the coming decades under projected climate change scenarios, according to research published in Nature on Monday. Bananas, beans and maize are most at risk of the nine staples that …

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