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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 – …

Pay attention to improving soil fertility

June 21st, 2015 / Leadership, Nigeria

Dr Nditoi Idem, the Head of Crop Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Uyo, has urged the government to pay more attention to improving soil fertility. He advised that applying both organic and inorganic fertiliser to the soil adequately could enrich it and boost production. Read …

Maize varieties that tame MLN virus

June 20th, 2015 / SciDev.net, IK

Scientists have made progress in identifying maize varieties that could combat maize lethal necrosis (MLN), a viral disease adversely affecting the crop in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and threatening food security. Read …

Agriculture beyond water

June 20th, 2015 / Sustainable Food Trust, UK

Drought is becoming more prevalent and causing havoc for food producers around the globe. Many regions have been hit by severe water scarcity over the past few years and this trend seems set to continue. What can be done? Read …

Nigerian government releases 15 new crop varieties

June 19th, 2015 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

The federal government has approved for release 15 new varieties of hybrid crops for farmers to boost agriculture in the country. The crops were officially released at the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Ibadan. The new crop varieties included two elite upland rice variety (Faro 64 and …