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Embrace biotech to boost agric production — Prof. Alhassan

August 1st, 2016 / Graphic Online, Ghana

The Director of Biotechnology and Stewardship for Sustainable Agriculture in West Africa (BSSA), Professor Walter Sandow Alhassan, has called on Ghanaians to embrace the use of biotechnology in agriculture production to ensure increased crop yields to secure the country’s food basket. See …

Agricultural development also supports science, technology

July 29th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Today’s farmer has different challenges from those before the onset of climate change and eruption of crop diseases, which threaten to wipe out major food and cash crops.
We expect our leaders to be climate smart and to pay more attention to agricultural research and its …

International research makes breakthrough on highly drought-resistant rice and wheat

July 25th, 2016 / Science Daily, US

International research led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found how plants, such as rice and wheat, sense and respond to extreme drought stress, in a breakthrough that could lead to the development of next-generation drought-proof crops. See …

Grasses suppress shoot-borne roots to conserve water during drought

July 20th, 2016 / PNAS Online, US

Grasses, whose members constitute key food and bioenergy crops worldwide, use unique developmental programs to establish the root system from the shoot. Shoot-borne crown roots originate near the soil surface and provide the main conduits through which the plant takes up water and nutrients. We show that crown root development …

UN urges La Niña preparedness in Africa

July 18th, 2016 / African Farming, UK

More than 60mn people have been affected by El Niño and many more are highly vulnerable to La Niña’s likely knock-on effect, a meeting of UN agencies at the FAO headquarters revealed. In wake of the devastating effects of El Niño, United Nations leaders called for combined efforts by governments …

Southern Africa facing acute food insecurity

July 14th, 2016 / IOL, South Africa

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) says a “higher than normal” number of people are already facing acute food insecurity in six Southern African countries and warns that the number could rise to nearly 17 million by March 2017 after three consecutive disastrous crop farming seasons. In its latest …

Africa not for sissies, especially agriculture

July 14th, 2016 / Bizcommunity.com

“We sit with an ironic situation where Africa is the continent with 46% of the world’s underutilised land, the bulk of the ground water resources and the best climate for agriculture production in the world – yet our farmers are the poorest and the smallest,” said Dr. Theo De Jager, …

Seed scheme offers kernel of hope for Central African Republic

July 11th, 2016 / The Guardian, UK

Three years of conflict have severely affected food production in Central African Republic, leaving 2.5 million people – more than half the population – in need of aid. Recognising that about 80% of the country’s people rely on agriculture, the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation are …

Mobile phones help build climate resilience for Senegal’s farming communities

July 11th, 2016 / Deutsche Welle

Famers in Senegal have long used traditional techniques to predict rainfall. But with climate change, new methods are needed. Climatic information sent by text message is now helping to boost yields. Read …

African hunger policy silent on climate risks

June 30th, 2016 / SciDev.net

A deal aimed to double agricultural production and end hunger in Africa has underestimated the impact climate change will have on the continent’s food production, a report has found. The African Union’s Malabo Declaration, adopted in 2014, fails to push for investments in Africa’s scientific capacity to combat climate threats, …