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Make agricultural research and data accessible

March 30th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Africa needs to refocus research thinking and agenda on the continent for agriculture to become productive and aid development, say agricultural experts. According to panellists at a SciDev.Net event organised in conjunction with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications in Nigeria, research is necessary for agricultural growth …

Project helps African farmers address stresses in maize farming

March 29th, 2016 / Commodities and Fair Trade News,

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and its partners have unveiled a new project – Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) – to diminish devastating environmental effects in maize production that occur simultaneously across many regions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The new project will develop new improved varieties …

Reducing food losses and waste in sub-Saharan Africa

March 29th, 2016 / FAO, Italy

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. These losses are particularly unfortunate in Africa where 220 million people are estimated to be undernourished. Climate-induced crop failures — including those caused by the ongoing …

Agriculture, a mountain of opportunity says UNEP Executive Director

March 29th, 2016 / UNEP, Kenya

Agriculture has emerged as one of the key sectors that highlight the integrated nature of this approach and how it can help drive many of the solutions for a healthy planet with healthy people. However, agriculture probably also highlights more than most the way in which our fates are inextricably …

Science meets farming to reveal Africa’s best bean

March 28th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Around 23 million tonnes of beans are grown globally for trade and local consumption every year. Across the world, millions of farmers depend on one or more of the 40,000 known bean varieties. But beans are a fragile crop. They need lots of water and stable temperatures to grow. A …

Seed banks overlook wild relatives of food crops

March 28th, 2016 / SciDec.net.UK

Wild relatives of vital food crops are at risk of going extinct but remain underrepresented in gene banks, scientists warn. There is an urgent need to collect and conserve relatives of plants such as rice, wheat, maize and potato to preserve their genetic diversity, says a paper published this week …

8 out of the 10 countries with worst access to safe water are in Africa

March 28th, 2016 / AfricanInsider, US

Worldwide, some 650 million people still do not have access to clean water, according to WaterAid. Government subsidized water sources often are reserved for wealthier communities, leaving the poorest to spend disproportionately. Almost half of those — 300 million plus — are in Africa. Yet Africa has possibly 20 times …

Modern peanut’s wild cousin, thought extinct, found in Andes

March 28th, 2016 / Scientific American, US

the The modern peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is the result of the hybridization of two older types of Andean peanut. It has 20 pairs of chromosomes—the total from both old species, which have 10 chromosomes each. Scientists always thought—a suspicion now confirmed—that the “parents” of this peanut were the variants Arachis …

Scientists aim to adapt wheat to a warmer climate with less water

March 26th, 2016 / CIMMYT, Mexico

Scientists battling to increase wheat production by more than 60 percent over the next 35 years to meet projected demand are optimistic that they have begun to unravel the genetic mysteries that will lead to a more productive plant. A recent study conducted at 26 international sites with a new …

The legacy of drought-tolerant maize

March 26th, 2016 / CIMMYT, Mexico

The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) Project has contributed towards improving seed system in sub-Saharan Africa for almost nine years (2007–2015), through 233 varieties released including about 200 distinct drought-tolerant (DT) maize hybrids and open-pollinated varieties (OPV) developed to help farmers cope with drought constraint in maize farming. …