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How human urine has helped boost Wasieba’s banana farm

July 7th, 2017 / Daily Monitor

Farmer Jennifer Wasieba from Sikusi Village in Manafwa District has substituted the use of compost manure with human urine to fertilise her gardens and since she started, she says her crop and vegetable yields have been impressive. Nitrogen-rich urine is free, abundantly available and does not seem to have any …

Research found way to improve nitrogen fixation in legumes

June 22nd, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the University of Kentucky led by Professor Hongyan Zhu have discovered a more efficient way for legumes to fix nitrogen. Zhu and his team found two antimicrobial peptides in the legume Medicago truncatula that kill certain rhizobial bacteria as nitrogen fixation begins. M. truncatula is closely related to …

Nitrogen-efficient crops on the horizon: Can we grow more with fewer emissions?

June 4th, 2017 / CGIR Wheat

Through a natural, affordable alternative to farmers’ heavy use of nitrogen fertilizers, science now offers an option to boost crop productivity and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the authors of a report that will appear this week in the journal Plant Science.
The new study describes certain plants that …

Mixed farming systems and global food security

May 25th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

Mixed farming, the combined production of crops and livestock, is central to current and future global food supplies. Two thirds of all people, and most of the world’s poor, work in such systems to produce a significant proportion of key staple crops: 86 per cent of rice, 74 per cent …

Genetically engineered microbes make their own fertiliser

April 11th, 2017 / Science, US

Industrial fertilizers help feed billions of people every year, but they remain beyond the reach of many of the world’s poorest farmers. Now, researchers have engineered microbes that, when added to soil, make fertilizer on demand, producing plants that grow 1.5 times larger than crops not exposed to the bugs …

Ethiopia: Increasing nutrient-use efficiency

December 20th, 2016 / The Ethiopian Herald

Intensive high-yield agriculture is dependent on addition of fertilizers, especially industrially produced NH4 and NO3. In some regions of the world, crop production is still constrained by too little application of fertilizers. Without the use of synthetic fertilizers, world food production could not have increased at the rate it did …

Fertilizers and low emission development in sub-Saharan Africa

December 1st, 2016 / Edis, UK

Many countries in Africa included fertilizer use, soil fertility management, and agricultural inputs as part of their contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement. While nitrogen (N) fertilizers contribute substantially to nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions globally, emissions from fertilizers are still low in sub-Saharan Africa. Projections of future food needs in …

Why boosting legume production will lift the gloom for African farmers

September 14th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Africa has the lowest use of nitrogen on its farmland compared to other regions of the world. This is because smallholder farmers have limited financial resources to buy fertilisers. Nitrogen is one of the most essential nutrients needed by plants for their growth, development and reproduction. Yet it is depleted …

What can be done about badly depleted nitrogen levels in Africa’s soil

February 26th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

African soils have been mined for their nutrients for far too long. Nutrients are removed in harvesting across the continent, but they aren’t being returned to the soil. This usually happens in the form of manures or fertilisers. As with a bank so too with soil: if you don’t deposit …

Smallholders gaining from nitrogen-efficient maize

November 10th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Smallholders face challenges such as poor soils and high cost of fertilisers. New improved varieties can raise yields by 30 per cent even in poor soils. Smallholders are seeing the varieties’ impacts, including aiding food security. Read …