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Drought tolerant wheat on the way

March 21st, 2017 / Agriculture.com

Look for a grinning, midsize lab-coat guy this winter, wearing dark glasses possibly, at the CFIA Variety Registration Office in Ottawa or Toronto. Julian Northey plans to be there, toting his paperwork, to register a new durum wheat for trials in western Canada.
If it happens and if it holds up …

Farmers abandon maize for drought-resistant crops

March 21st, 2017 / The Star, Kenya

As the drought continues to ravage parts of the country, farmers in Makueni have nothing to worry about since they have millet, sorghum and green grams to eat and sell.
Samuel Mutune, a father of seven, says he grew maize for many years but that the harvests were poor due to …

Crops you harvest in less than six months

March 17th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Currently, due to climate change as a result of deforestation, reclamation of swamps, and industrialisation, among other factors, traditional farmers who depended on the traditional crop growing calendar of March are no longer to tell seasons due to unpredictable dry spells, since there was no mitigation.
This, in part, implies that …

Project to introduce drought-resistant maize continues in Africa

March 3rd, 2017 / Crop Protection News

A long-term project to introduce and develop genetically modified drought-resistant maize to Africa has been billed a success by one of it drivers, the biotechnology giant Monsanto.
The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, up and running since 2008, was created with “a goal to enhance food security in sub-Saharan …

UN – 20 million people on brink of famine

February 24th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday that 20 million people in four countries face famine unless the international community steps in to prevent it.
“The situation is dire,” Guterres told reporters. “Millions of people are barely surviving in the space between malnutrition and death, vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks, forced …

Improving drought tolerance in canola and wheat

February 23rd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Prof. Naglaa Abdallah and her research team at Cairo University, Egypt are currently using gene editing to improve drought tolerance in canola and wheat. She said, “Gene editing has brought considerable excitement, especially among agricultural scientists because of its simplicity, precision, and power. It offers new opportunities to develop improved …

The soil microbiome: enlisting an invisible army for food security

February 20th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

Plants do not grow in isolation: even the smallest amount of soil is home to millions of very diverse microorganisms, mostly bacteria and fungi, which interact with plants and affect the way they grow and cope with environmental and biotic stresses.

These microbes have co-evolved with plants since they colonised …

Drought-tolerant maize shows promise in Tanzania

February 20th, 2017 / Alliance for Science, US

Tanzania’s first-ever genetically modified crop — a field trial of drought-tolerant maize intended to benefit small-scale farmers suffering the effects of climate change — is proceeding well and will be harvested imminently, according to scientists overseeing the trial for the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project.
Dr. Alois Kullaya, …

Togolese Gilbert Houngbo elected new IFAD boss amid food crisis in Africa

February 16th, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Tuesday elected a new president amid increasing demand for rural agricultural development funding in developing countries
The fund, which is a specialised United Nations agency and international financial institution that invests in eradicating rural poverty in developing countries around the world, elected former …

Scientists explain how plants resist drought

February 15th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the University of Illinois investigated the molecular mechanism that enables plants to lessen water loss while facing drought. They focused on a key hormone known as abscisic acid (ABA) which binds to a protein (PYL receptor) and then causes a series of reactions leading to the closing of …