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The elephant in the room at Paris climate talks: why food production must change

December 4th, 2015 / The Conversation

The grand political narratives around the COP21 conference in Paris will barely touch on one crucial aspect – food. Getting the whole food system to change is a seriously big challenge. But one thing is clear: no change in how we produce food means no gain in climate change prevention. …

A hidden side of climate change adaptation: identifying and developing drought-tolerant crops

December 3rd, 2015 / Thomas Reuters Foundation

Through conventional yet smart plant breeding, ICRISAT aims to create new drought-tolerant and productive crop varieties in a faster way, so that smallholder farmers in Africa or South Asia have the right climate-adapted crops to cope with a 2 degrees warmer climate. Read …

Climate change threat to food security in Nigeria – Buhari

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that climate change poses a threat to food security in Nigeria as extreme events such as flooding and drought are on the increase. Stating Nigeria’s position yesterday at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) ongoing in Paris, France, he disclosed that such factors have …

Project embeds young African climate researchers

December 1st, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Back in the 1980s, African scientists contributed less than two per cent of the papers in global climate change publications. This dire situation remained the same for almost 30 years. Climate models and growing evidence suggest Africa is likely to feel some of the worst impacts of climate change. …

Coffee, Big Ag & why demonizing GE is counterproductive

December 1st, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

Meet the scientist, Dr Nir Oksenberg: “I think it is important for people to understand that we are not just trying to make a bunch of GMOs and hope one works. We spend years, sometimes decades, studying these plants. We don’t just want to make a plant better and …

It is time to store water during this rainy season

November 27th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: We live in a world of contrasts. Only a few weeks ago, in most parts of Uganda, we complained about scarcity of rain. Yet, now the general complaint is there is a lot of rain. It makes the on-going political campaigns difficult since most …

New crop products offer hope against disease and drought

November 20th, 2015 / The Sunrise, Uganda

The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has released new food crop products for Cassava, Maize, Sweet Potato and Wheat which offer hope in addressing prevailing disease and drought stresses. Among the new releases are two new Cassava lines NAROCASS1 and NAROCASS2 which the research organisation says are high-yielding, aromatic, …

The role of plant science in food security

November 11th, 2015 / University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Plant science has a necessary but not sufficient role to play in meeting the global food security challenge.Rising temperatures are reducing yields; an effect which is projected to intensify over the coming decades. And increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, widely …

Rwanda: Farmers cautioned on seeds with short growth cycle

November 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

In Rwanda farmers have been cautioned against planting seeds with short maturity periods. The advice was given by Dr Daphrose Gahakwa, the deputy director general for research at Rwanda agriculture board (RAB) while advising on how farmers can cope during the dry season.”We have several varieties of short term seeds …

Pineapple genome unlocked

November 4th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

Pineapple has been cultivated for more than 6,000 years, thriving in water-starved environments. To understand how pineapples grow to be juicy under such conditions, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took a closer look at the plant’s genes and genetic pathways. Read …