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Breakthrough in salt-tolerance in plants research

September 21st, 2016 / Phys.org

University of Adelaide researchers have made a breakthrough in investigating salt tolerance in plants which could lead to new salt tolerant varieties of crops, and also answer unresolved questions in plant biology. The researchers, also from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and in collaboration with the …

Agricultural R&D is on the move

September 16th, 2016 / Nature, UK

The geographical distribution of food and agricultural research and development (AgR&D) is changing. Our analysis of more than 50 years of data indicates that the governments of middle-income nations are investing more than those of high-income ones for the first time in modern history. The numbers also suggest that, globally, …

Maize genetics may show how crops adapt to climate change

September 16th, 2016 / phys.org

With the onset of climate change and changes in irrigation, adapting food crops to grow in diverse environments could help feed the world. Now University of California, Davis, scientists are leading a major new project, funded by the National Science Foundation with $4.1 million over five years, to study genetic …

Uganda: Shortage of drought-resistant maize seed as farmers despair

September 15th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Newly-released drought-tolerant hybrid maize seed has reportedly run out of stock from the eight supplier-companies–except one–contracted to multiply and market it, Seeds of Gold has exclusively learnt.
The stock-out, which comes ahead of the second planting season, has raised concern across the farming community.
Farmers are also bracing themselves against any dry …

Top scientists debate biotechnology

September 14th, 2016 / New Vision, Uganda

Scientists from different fields discussed the application of biotechnology in Uganda. Dr. Arthur Tuguma, a lecturer of genetics and plant pathology in the department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology at Makerere University, said there is need to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the technology.
On his part, Dr Elioda …

First drought-resilient, high iron beans for Uganda released

September 5th, 2016 / CIAT, Colombia

Five new bean varieties bred with high iron and resilience to the impacts of drought have been released in Uganda for the first time. The varieties – co-developed by the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), the Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB) and CIAT through HarvestPlus – were released as part …

Are drought-resistant crops in Africa the tech fix they’re cracked up to be?

September 5th, 2016 / The Guardian, UK

Biotech companies and non-profits are investing heavily in drought-resistant crops, but doubts remain over whether they are the best option for farmers. See …

How agriculture can be intensified in Africa without causing harm

September 3rd, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Conventional agriculture differs. It aims to maximise yields and economic returns. This is often done with little regard for the environment and the impact on society. Sustainable agriculture, on the other hand, is designed to address problems like environmental pollution from excessive use of fertilisers. It also tries to arrest …

A rice revolution for Africa?

August 31st, 2016 / IOL Business News, South Africa

The first hybrid rice varieties developed in sub-Saharan Africa are yielding up to four times more than other improved varieties, say scientists, who are using web-based tools to identify the right climate conditions to maximise harvests. The 15 hybrids, bred in Kenya and Tanzania, are also tolerant to diseases and …

20 Years Of Innovation: Reflecting on successes and challenges of biotech crops

August 30th, 2016 / Forbes Magazine, US

In 1996, farmers planted the first commercial biotech crop. The global uptake of plant biotechnology by farmers since has made it the fastest-adopted technology in the history of agriculture. Farmers who have the choice to use the technology have chosen it on an unprecedented level because of its benefits. See …