In the news...

Storing grain in warehouses for better market is way to go

December 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: If grain farmers are to attract better market opportunities, there is need for adequate warehousing as grain markets in East Africa, including Uganda, suffer from a range of constraints.
Smallholder farmers are particularly affected owing to vulnerability to price fluctuations and weak bargaining. But effective marketing …

Common grass could help boost food security

November 30th, 2016 / Phys.org

Australian researchers have discovered that the common Panic grasses could hold the secret to increasing the yields of cereal crops and help feed the world with increasing temperature extremes and a population of nearly 10 billion people by 2050.
The findings, published in Nature Plants, show the potential to improve crop …

World cotton sector moves to preserve growth

November 25th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

The world’s major cotton producer and trader nations have agreed on strategies to boost collaborative research and spur scientific sharing and technology transfer to overcome challenges to the sustained growth of the global cotton industry.
Depleting water resources, new pest-related problems, an increasing frequency of intense droughts, floods, shifting weather and …

Drought-resistant grass to spur milk production

November 23rd, 2016 / All Africa.com

Struggling East African dairy farmers could benefit from new varieties of high-quality, drought-resistant forage grass known as Brachiaria that boosts milk production by 40 per cent, a report says.
The forage grass could enable farmers to increase their incomes, according to experts at the Colombia-headquartered International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) …

Suggestions on current food challenges

November 22nd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow and farmer Michael Ssali writes: Every year, 12 million hectares of land is degraded due to drought and desertification according to the 2016 Global Food Report.
The farmers who attended the second National Coffee Festival at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole, on November 4 were introduced to the Coffee Drought …

Researchers map out the chemical pathways that help plants cope with drought

November 14th, 2016 / Natural Science News, Panama

A team of researchers has pinpointed some of the mechanisms used by plants to cope with drought conditions. The discovery of the specific genes and proteins involved may help plant breeders develop crops better suited to changing conditions brought on by global warming. The details were just published in the …

African researchers develop drought-tolerant GMO maize variety

November 14th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project

Maize is a staple food crop for millions of Africans. Despite this fact, African farmers have been harvesting average grain yield of not more than 2 t/ha while there is a potential of producing more than 10 t/ha. Drought is one of the major abiotic constraints contributing to this low …

Scientists identify molecular conductors that help plants respond to drought

November 9th, 2016 / ISAAA, US

A new study conducted at the Salk Institute found molecular conductors that help plants respond to stress such as drought and salinity. The study suggests that during environmental stresses, a small group of proteins acts as conductors to manage the complex responses of plants to stress. See …

Morocco launches action plan to fight devastating climate change

November 8th, 2016 / The Guardian, UK

Morocco is using the COP22 conference to formally launch its “Adaptation of African Agriculture” (AAA) initiative. As food security becomes increasingly challenged by erratic weather patterns, the initiative proposes measures such as improved soil management, water and irrigation management and better weather forecasting and insurance programmes for farmers affected by …

More than 275 organizations and scientific institutions support the safety of GM crops

November 7th, 2016 / Siquierotransgenicos.cl

Currently there is a social and political controversy about the safety of foods produced from genetically modified (GM) crops, however, in the scientific community there is no dispute or controversy regarding the safety of these crops. To date, more than 2000 scientific studies have assessed the safety of these crops …