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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. …

Canada approves non-browning, low acrylamide GMO potato for sale

March 26th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

the Innate potato has the same nutritional composition of regular potatoes plus reduced asparagine. This amino acid found in many starchy foods produces acrylamide, suspected to be a human carcinogen. Potatoes naturally produce the chemical when they’re cooked at high temperatures above 120 C (250 F). Read …

It’s been 100 years since S. African fields were this dry

March 25th, 2016 / Mail & Guardian, Kenya

THE corn that is a food staple for much of southern Africa is now so expensive it has become a luxury many can’t afford, after the worst drought in three decades damaged crops from Ethiopia to South Africa. And it is a situation that has many of the elements that …

Climate change, food production and food security

March 25th, 2016 / Can we feed the world, UK

A study in The Lancet indicates that global food supply as impacted by climate change could cause over half a million deaths by 2050, largely due to a rise in undernutrition. While it is understood, at least to some degree, that crop yields will be affected, largely adversely, by climate …

Govt, stakeholders in push to improve agric production

March 25th, 2016 / New Times, Rwanda

When African leaders pledged to support agriculture by allocating over 10 per cent of their budget to the sector under the Maputo Declaration over 10 years ago, Rwanda was the first country to endorse the initiative. Though governments across the continent committed to increasing agro-funding to at least 5 per …

Science plays crucial role in SDG success

March 25th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Last night SciDev.Net hosted a panel discussion with the British Council as part of the council’s exhibition on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panellists discussed how conversations around science can support the implementation of the SDGs. During the discussion, several distinct roles for science emerged. Read …

Newly-released sorghum types offer biodiversity & crop improvement

March 25th, 2016 / Newswire

Sorghum has many benefits for farmers, consumers, and the environment. It is a drought-tolerant crop. In many areas, it needs significantly less water than rice and corn. With fresh water becoming more limited for agriculture, crops such as sorghum may become more attractive to farmers. Sorghum has also been bred …

Uganda seeks ways to manage the regulation of biotechnology

March 25th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes: Biotechnology is one of the fast growing sectors in the world and the pace of this places unique demands on management of the technology. The managers must be able to create and sustain entrepreneurship, collaboration and research within a high-risk environment. So, they cannot adapt …