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Teff love – Ethiopia’s staple crop requires a big push

August 23rd, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Can an Ethiopian farmer benefit from the global export of this gluten-free supergrain without jeopardizing domestic consumption?
Not too long ago, teff, a gluten-free, nutrient-rich, 3,000-year-old grain native to Ethiopia, made international headlines when the world woke up to the potential of this poppy-sized wonder, instantly terming it as the next …

Europe’s decision to reject gene edited crops signals it is losing its commitment to sustainable agriculture

August 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

At the same time as Swedish agriculture is affected by the worst drought in recent memory, the European Court of Justice has made a decisive decision that will have far-reaching consequences for Swedish agriculture beyond this hot summer. [On July 25th], it was decided that crops in which targeted mutations …

Ugandan farmers to use app to identify fall armyworm

August 20th, 2018 / East African

Farmers in Uganda can now quickly identify and report the presence of the fall armyworm using a mobile application system that has been jointly launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (Famews) is already in use in …

Lessons from Kenya on how to restore degraded land

August 20th, 2018 / The Conversation

The state of the earth’s biodiversity – the world’s variety of living organisms – is in crisis. About one third of the world’s land has been severely degraded from its natural state. Some of the worst forms of degradation include deforestation, soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, declining water quality …

Next-generation biotech products could threaten the existence of agricultural nutrient producers

August 20th, 2018 / Motley Fool

Microbials are essentially probiotics for plants. A plant’s root system can feast on a buffet of water and a wide range of nutrients present in the soil. However, much like humans, plants are unable to break down or process all the available nutrients without help from friendly bacteria or fungi. …

Wheat gene map to help ‘feed the world’

August 17th, 2018 / BBC

The starting pistol has been fired in a race to develop “climate change resistant” wheat with the publication of a map of the crop’s genes.
An international team of scientists has identified the location of more than 100,000 wheat genes.
The researchers say the map will accelerate the development of new strains …

USDA unveils new gene-stacking tool to prevent plant diseases

August 16th, 2018 / The Scientist

If climate change is the new normal, farmers in some regions of the world will have to get used to fighting mold and mildew. For wheat growers in particular, fungal blights are already a big problem—and only expected to worsen as weather patterns change. Fungal pathogens are advancing northwards at …

How to ensure bumper harvest from butternut

August 16th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

From B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru:
Butternut squash is a vine crop of the cucurbit family. This tropical crop is an alternative choice four pumpkin lovers.
This is because the butternut squash fruits locally known as ‘ensusuuti’ not only looks like a tiny pumpkin but it tastes alike.
Locally we do not …

How soil scientists can do a better job of making their research useful

August 15th, 2018 / The Conversation

Soil is a vital part of the natural environment. It supports the growth of plants, is a habitat for many different organisms and is at the heart of nearly all agricultural production. It also plays an integral role in countless other ecosystem services like water and climate regulation.
Despite this, soil …

What are the ramifications for agriculture if glyphosate is restricted?

August 14th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The story we will be hearing a great deal of in the coming days and weeks:
Now that a jury in San Francisco has decided that exposure to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) was responsible for California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s cancer, the movement to restrict the herbicide has been re-energized.
Carey Gillam, director …