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Africa: Climate-resistant beans could save millions

December 16th, 2016 / AllAfica.com

Only about 30 crops provide 95 percent of human food energy needs, according to FAO. Dependency on a few staple crops magnifies the consequences of crop failure.
Botanists are already taking extreme measures to save those plant species deemed useful. Some 7.4 million samples are in seed banks around the world, …

On-farm smallholder irrigation performance in Ethiopia: from water use efficiency to equity and sustainability

December 15th, 2016 / Lives, Ethiopia

The performance of smallholder irrigation schemes are challenged by several factors: among which water insecurity and low land and water productivity are the main ones.
This paper evaluates the on-farm management of nine smallholder irrigation schemes from four regional states in Ethiopia. The schemes are diverse in several aspects and we …

Climate change is smallholders’ pain

December 12th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Experts use many numbers when talking about climate change. However, rising temperatures, the resulting crop failure and consequent loss of livelihoods and destitution of millions of households are this year’s most important and urgent developments for millions of smallholder farmers across African agro-ecological landscapes.
To illustrate the unfolding crisis, let us …

Plant microbiomes and sustainable agriculture

December 2nd, 2016 / EMBOpress, Germany

Science: Deciphering the plant microbiome and its role in nutrient supply and plant immunity has great potential to reduce the use of fertilizers and biocides in agriculture. This topic is gaining in importance. See …

Egypt: Students launch first scientific internet radio station

December 1st, 2016 / IAAAS, US

Cairo University students under the BSc Biotechnology program launched the Scientific Square Radio (SSR). It is the first scientific radio station in Egypt and is located at the Central Library, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University. Prof. Naglaa Abdallah, Coordinator of the BSc Biotechnology program and Director of the Egypt Biotechnology …

Fertilizers and low emission development in sub-Saharan Africa

December 1st, 2016 / Edis, UK

Many countries in Africa included fertilizer use, soil fertility management, and agricultural inputs as part of their contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement. While nitrogen (N) fertilizers contribute substantially to nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions globally, emissions from fertilizers are still low in sub-Saharan Africa. Projections of future food needs in …

How Africa can turn a food deficit to surplus

November 30th, 2016 / Financial Times, UK

By 2050, the world will need to feed 9bn people, 2bn more than we feed today. In order to meet this demand, global food production must increase by an estimated 70 per cent in the next 30 years. Africa — which contains 65 per cent of the world’s unexploited arable …

Common grass could help boost food security

November 30th, 2016 / Phys.org

Australian researchers have discovered that the common Panic grasses could hold the secret to increasing the yields of cereal crops and help feed the world with increasing temperature extremes and a population of nearly 10 billion people by 2050.
The findings, published in Nature Plants, show the potential to improve crop …

Protecting and developing African agriculture in the face of climate change

November 29th, 2016 / Bizcommunity, South Africa

The United Nations 2016 climate change conference (COP22), meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, presented an historic opportunity to refocus the global community’s attention on the need to help developing nations adapt to climate change. In no area could this be more pressing than Africa, where protecting food security and ending hunger …

Food security in the face of climate change: impossible without water

November 28th, 2016 / Euractive.com

Development agencies must use the momentum from COP22 to prioritise water infrastructure projects and help mitigate the effects of climate change and extreme weather events in Africa. See …