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New research fellows to combat climate change in Africa

March 26th, 2017 / SciDev.net

A programme is building the capacity of African researchers to understand climate change impacts and develop evidence-based solutions to help policymakers tackle climate change challenges.
The Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) fellowship – an initiative by the African Academy of Sciences and Association of Commonwealth Universities – seeks …

Investment key in adapting to climate change in West Africa

March 26th, 2017 / IIASA

Climate change will likely have negative impacts on food production in West Africa, but a new study provides insights on how strategic planning by decision makers could ease or exacerbate food security challenges in the region.
Climate projections for West Africa show that crop yields and grass for livestock grazing are …

Efficiency of public spending will enhance agriculture productivity for poverty reduction in Africa

March 26th, 2017 / The Financial

Reforms in public spending would boost agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, raising farmer’s incomes, and promoting broader economic growth, says a new World Bank report released on March 23.
Reaping Richer Returns: Public Spending Priorities for African Agriculture Productivity Growth explores the performance of agricultural spending in Africa, and presents a …

Latin American native maize reveals adaptation secrets

March 21st, 2017 / SciDev.net

An international team of scientists identified a hundred genes that influence adaptation to the latitude, altitude, growing season and flowering time of nearly 4,500 native maize varieties in Mexico and in almost all Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Creole — or native — varieties of maize are derived from improvements made …

Shocking encounter with fall army worms

March 21st, 2017 / The Sunrise, Uganda

About a week ago, my wife Esther brought my attention to an attack in our little maize garden. She urged me to spray the tender plants having detected damage on the leaves on the crop that is just three weeks now.
I hesitantly accepted to spray against the feeling that it …

Farmers in panic as strange caterpillars ravage maize gardens

March 21st, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

The onset of the planting season for farmers growing the maize crop in Luweero District is at crossroads with many farmers already counting losses after losing the crop to strange pesticide resistant caterpillars.
Luweero District Agriculture Officer, Ms Sarah Namubiru describes the pesticide resistant caterpillars as strange and rare because of …

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 …

The business case for soil

March 17th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Nobody likes dirty business, but the business world must get to grips with dirt. Soil provides food, fibres and fuels, and regulates water resources and climate. Yet most businesses are unaware that their bottom lines depend on soil; nor are they aware of the risks they face from its degradation. …