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Africa takes fresh look at GMO crops

January 11th, 2016 / Reuters

A scorching drought in Southern Africa that led to widespread crop failure could nudge African nations to finally embrace genetically modified (GM) crops to improve harvests and reduce grain imports. The drought, which extends to South Africa, the continent’s biggest maize producer, has been exacerbated by an El Nino weather …

Resurrection plants could lead to more drought-tolerant crops

January 3rd, 2016 / AgWeb.com

Recent genome sequencing of Oropetium grass has given researchers a blueprint in distinguishing genes related to phenomenal plant resilience. The bizarre self-preservation abilities of resurrection plants like Oropetium hold tremendous promise toward engineering stronger drought-tolerance in crops, and the effects soon could reach farmland. Read …

Paris Climate Agreement unlocks opportunities for food and farming

December 21st, 2015 / Global Forum on Agricultural Research

COP21 opened the door for more adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector – will the agriculture community march in? New analysis from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS ) Read …

Budget squeeze for South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council amid drought

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC), one of South Africa’s key weapons in the fight against the current drought, has seen its net surplus decline by 300% during 2014/2015. While still in the black the ARC has experienced a 300% decrease in its surplus from R137m to R34m for the …

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, …

El Niño: food shortages, floods, disease and droughts set to put millions at risk

November 17th, 2015 / Guardian, UK

The UN has warned of months of extreme weather in many of the world’s most vulnerable countries with intense storms, droughts and floods triggered by one of the strongest El Niño weather events recorded in 50 years, which is expected to continue until spring 2016. Its effects are already being …

Drought takes terrible toll in Ethiopia

November 10th, 2015 / BBC, UK

The United Nations has warned that more than 15 million people in Ethiopia will be in need of food aid by the beginning of 2016 because of a severe drought. A lack of rain has meant that crop yields in the worst-affected areas are down by 90% this year. The …

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 …

Facing drought-induced food shortage, Zimbabwe confronts GMO dilemma

October 26th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Zimbabwe is facing a crippling maize (staple in Zimbabwe) shortage. Vice President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has revealed that the cash strapped government needs at least US$300 million to import 700 000 tons of maize to meet national consumption. And According to the World Food Program (WFP), Zimbabwe’s food crisis …