In the news...

Digital transformation in agri-business required to safeguard African food supply

March 27th, 2017 / TWeb, South Africa

African food security is under threat from a confluence of climate change, severe drought, water scarcity and a destructive fall armyworm invasion. But, says Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director, SAP South Africa, there are technology tools at hand to help solve Africa’s food security problems.
“Smart Farming solutions will become the cornerstone …

The inside guide to African drought

March 23rd, 2017 / AllAfrica

Farmers, traders and consumers across East and Southern Africa are feeling the impact of consecutive seasons of drought that have scorched harvests and ruined livelihoods. The El Niño-driven crisis has increased the malnutrition rates of rural children, and driven up food prices for urban residents. Livestock deaths and fire …

Africa’s food security challenges driving technological innovation

March 21st, 2017 / BIZCommunity, South Africa

Climate change, severe drought, water scarcity and the invasion of Fall armyworm sees Africa’s food security under threat, but technology tools are available to help solve the continent’s food security problems. Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director, SAP South Africa says: “Smart farming solutions will become the cornerstone of global food production …

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 …