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Breakthrough in salt-tolerance in plants research

September 21st, 2016 / Phys.org

University of Adelaide researchers have made a breakthrough in investigating salt tolerance in plants which could lead to new salt tolerant varieties of crops, and also answer unresolved questions in plant biology. The researchers, also from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and in collaboration with the …

Genetically modified plants – technology’s ugly duckling

September 21st, 2016 / DW.com, Germany

Genetically modified food has never enjoyed the best reputation. Such is the depth of opposition to GM, even ideas that seem to promise a better future have been viewed with the utmost suspicion. Few developers of genetically modified food enjoy a reputation for being one of the good guys. Even …

The next green movement: plant biology for the environment and sustainability

September 19th, 2016 / Science, US

From domestication and breeding to the genetic engineering of crops, plants provide food, fuel, fibers, and feedstocks for our civilization. New research and discoveries aim to reduce the inputs needed to grow crops and to develop plants for environmental and sustainability applications. Faced with population growth and changing climate, the …

Agricultural R&D is on the move

September 16th, 2016 / Nature, UK

The geographical distribution of food and agricultural research and development (AgR&D) is changing. Our analysis of more than 50 years of data indicates that the governments of middle-income nations are investing more than those of high-income ones for the first time in modern history. The numbers also suggest that, globally, …

Maize genetics may show how crops adapt to climate change

September 16th, 2016 / phys.org

With the onset of climate change and changes in irrigation, adapting food crops to grow in diverse environments could help feed the world. Now University of California, Davis, scientists are leading a major new project, funded by the National Science Foundation with $4.1 million over five years, to study genetic …

African countries that invested in agriculture improved their production

September 15th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: “A report released early this month by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has indicated that the countries which paid intense attention to farmers and food production in the past ten years have achieved the most successful development in African history.
“The countries …

Why boosting legume production will lift the gloom for African farmers

September 14th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Africa has the lowest use of nitrogen on its farmland compared to other regions of the world. This is because smallholder farmers have limited financial resources to buy fertilisers. Nitrogen is one of the most essential nutrients needed by plants for their growth, development and reproduction. Yet it is depleted …

Application of science and technology to combat climate change in Africa

September 14th, 2016 / Ghana Web

There is no doubt that changes in the earth’s climate always occurs, however as a result of human induced activities over the years, the change is happening at a fast pace. This change is at the moment changing faster than it has happened for thousand years, according to a 2013 …

Kenya: Nod on GM cotton field trials shifts focus to release of biotech maize

September 14th, 2016 / Daily Nation, Kenya

A decision by the National Bio-Safety Authority (NBA), to approve open field trials for genetically modified (GM) cotton is bound to raise more confusion in an area that has been dogged by controversy.
There has been a push and pull regarding release of biotech maize for National Performance Trials even after …

African smallholders are adopting conservation agriculture techniques

September 14th, 2016 / Manitoba Co-operator, Canada

I saw maize that was green, tall, and thick, nothing like what we had seen along our drive through central Kenya.
This particular farm belongs to Jane Wanjiko, who has wholeheartedly adopted the principles of conservation agriculture on her three-quarters of an acre farm. She is using grass and cornstalks to …