In the news...

Soiless seed germination technology tames disease spread

June 26th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

A company in Kenya is pioneering the planting of seeds without using soil by using an organic planting medium made from coconut husk, ridding the seeds off diseases, ensuring transplanting is done with all roots intact and guaranteeing a 90 per cent germination rate. Read …

The Zero Hunger Challenge: a road map for eradicating world hunger

June 25th, 2015 / New York Times, US

Zero Hunger “is a challenge and it’s a hope,” said Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank, a US research and advocacy organization. “It gives us a concrete framework so we can get to a situation where everyone is well fed. I think that’s a realizable goal over the next 50 …

Tanzania: Iringa – a sparkling jewel for farmers

June 25th, 2015 / Tanzania Daily News

Almost all residents in Iringa Region earn their living from agriculture and livestock rearing. Agriculture has, so far, ensured food security. Small-holder and large-scale farmers produce surpluses of maize, which is the major food crop grown in the region. Other crops of economic importance, include paddy, wheat, sweet potatoes, round …

Has the media failed Ghanaians on the GM debate?

June 25th, 2015 / Ghana Web

The raging debate over whether Ghana should accept Genetically Modified Foods (GM Foods) into the country’s food chain continues unabated. It has been contentious, and clouded with a lot of emotions and anti imperialism talk, which has not helped steer the conversation to allow for Ghanaians to make informed decisions …

New hybrid finger millet released by Addis Ababa University

June 24th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Cultivation of finger millet has over time been on a free fall in Ethiopia despite the immense nutritional benefits the crop has to humans. In most instances farmers have cited a lack of buoyant breeds. Now scientists have offered farmers a solution through provision of hybrid breeds. The scientists from …

Wild tobacco may contain key to attaining food security

June 24th, 2015 / Crop Biotech Update, US

Researchers have obtained the RDR1 gene from a wild tobacco plant (Nicotiana benthamiana). RDR1 gene controls the viral response of N. benthamiana strains in different viral infections. This development can be applied to crops such as potato, tomato, capsicum, and eggplant. View …

Ancient perennial wheat relative resists diseases and builds soil

June 23rd, 2015 / Civileats.com

Kernza’s arrival has been a long time coming. The new grain variety from the Land Institute is derived from an ancient form of intermediate wheatgrass, a perennial that is actually a distant relative of wheat. And there’s a widespread team of researchers hoping their work will pave the way for …

Sweet potatoes become food of choice in arid areas

June 22nd, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

County governments and organizations working in Kenya’s arid areas are expressing appetite for sweet potatoes in a bid to balance between feeding population and livestock, as the versatile crop exhibits faster growing and replication traits. Read …

Biodiversity reduces human, wildlife diseases and crop pests

June 21st, 2015 / Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, US

With infectious diseases increasing worldwide, the need to understand how and why disease outbreaks occur is becoming increasingly important. Looking for answers, a team of biologists found broad evidence that supports the controversial ‘dilution effect hypothesis,’ which suggests that biodiversity limits outbreaks of disease among humans, wildlife and crops. …

Drought solutions that can be tested, then scaled

June 21st, 2015 / Christian Science Monitor, US

“Israel is very much a beta test site for solving these problems in a small country,” says Glenn Yago, founder of the Financial Innovation Lab at the California-based Milken Institute, who is fostering increased Israeli investment in water projects in California. “Drip irrigation, desalination, [wastewater] recycling, and aquifer remediation – …