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When you set out to grow robusta coffee

May 22nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
One of the most important steps for anybody setting out to grow Robusta coffee is to select good quality plantlets. Robusta coffee is a perennial crop from which a farmer can expect income for an entire lifetime. It is important therefore to plant coffee varieties that …

Government action needed on climate resiliency and food security in West Africa

May 22nd, 2017 / Mongabay, US

While some leaders in Washington are barely getting their toes wet to address global climate change, researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have dived in head-first. A new study published in Global Environmental Change modeled potential future scenarios for climate change and food security in West …

Can CRISPR feed the world?

May 22nd, 2017 / Phys.org

As the world’s population rises, scientists want to edit the genes of potatoes and wheat to help them fight plant diseases that cause famine.
By 2040, there will be 9 billion people in the world. “That’s like adding another China onto today’s global population,” said Professor Sophien Kamoun of the Sainsbury …

Rice plant engineered with a ‘tunable’ immune system could fight multiple diseases at once

May 22nd, 2017 / Science, US

Farmers are constantly spraying pesticides on their crops to combat an array of viral, bacterial, and fungal invaders. Scientists have been trying to get around these chemicals for years by genetically engineering hardy plants resilient to the array of diseases caused by microbial beasties. Most attempts so far confer protection …

JICA, IRRI, PhilRICE share rice seed production expertise with African farmers

May 19th, 2017 / Manilla Bulletin, Philippines

A group of African farmers graduated recently from a training extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) as part of development cooperation to boost food security in member countries of the Coalition of African Rice Development (CARD).
JICA, IRRI, …

Establishing seeds as the key element in climate-smart responses to food security

May 19th, 2017 / Reliefweb

In a world of plenty, climate-smart seed is conspicuously scarce
The effects of climate change are highly visible around the world, and examples illustrating the challenges faced by regions abound. The Pacific is no exception – a particularly vulnerable region when it concerns the impacts of climate change. Rising sea levels …

Geneticists engineer a virus to fight citrus disease

May 19th, 2017 / The Scientist

Since 2005, Candidatus Liberibacter, a genus of bacteria that is spread by Asian citrus psyllids (Diaphorina citri) and turns fruit green and bitter, has been devastating orange crops in the United States. “There’s a real race on right now to try to save the citrus,” Carolyn Slupsky, a food scientist …

Gene banks are forever

May 18th, 2017 / Crop Trust

There have been mergers and name changes, budget crunches and strategic re-thinks for the individual centers. And, from 1971 when it was founded, lots of structuring and restructuring – with the obligatory accompanying re-branding – for the club to which they all belong. I remember when it used to be …

Nigeria: Armyworms invade maize farms

May 18th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Farmers in Benue State are worried as army worms wreak havoc on newly cultivated maize farms across the state.
Similar incident is being experienced in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as farmers are recording isolated cases of armyworms attacks, which affected some farms particularly farms at the outskirt …

Doubled-up legume technologies in conservation agriculture show potential for scale up

May 18th, 2017 / Africa Rising

Smallholder farming systems in southern Africa are faced with challenges such as declining soil fertility, low productivity and profitability and the increased need to adapt to climate variability and change. Sustainable intensification of both legume- and maize-based farming systems is needed to increase food, nutrition and income security for smallholders.
Since …