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Climate change Is draining protein out of staple crops

August 4th, 2017 / IFL Science

No matter how hard we work at stopping it, some human-driven climate change is inevitable. It’s already happening, and it will continue to happen even if we drawdown carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
This means that there are certain adaptations we need to make in order to make it through the …

Controlling rats on small-scale African farms is vital for food security

August 3rd, 2017 / The Conversation

Recent analysis suggests that Africa will only be able to achieve food security if it invests in crop intensification like increased fertiliser and pesticide input per hectare. But the expansion of agricultural production areas can also improve this.
A complicating factor in African agriculture is that most of the production comes …

Cracking the code of megapests

August 3rd, 2017 / CSIRO

Led by CSIRO, in collaboration with a team of renowned experts, the researchers identified more than 17,000 protein coding genes in the genomes of the Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the Cotton Bollworm and Corn Earworm, respectively).
They also documented how these genetics have changed overtime.
This level of …

Can genetic modification turn annual crops into perennials?

August 3rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The last several decades have witnessed a remarkable increase in crop yields — doubling major grain crops since the 1950s. But a significant part of the world still suffers from malnutrition, and these gains in grains and other crops probably won’t be enough to feed a growing global population.
These facts …

Agricultural scientists urge new global crop alliance to secure future food supply

August 1st, 2017 / CGIAR

At a time when weather patterns are becoming less predictable and population pressures on food supply are increasing, a group of crop scientists are laying the groundwork for an international crop network to systematically tackle threats to global food security.
Research focused on specific crops achieves progressive genetic gains, but scientists …

African leaders urged to embrace science in agriculture

August 1st, 2017 / Ghana News Agency

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, has called on African governments to embrace and invest in science and technology to transform the agricultural sector.
Dr Akoto said there was no way to develop agriculture without science, adding that it was imperative forAfrican continent to prioritise the role of …

How WEMA project can protect maize from army worms

August 1st, 2017 / Tribune, Nigeria

To develop drought tolerant maize by conventional breeding method takes a very long number of years, in fact, scientists will tell you that every year, they can increase yield through conventional breeding under drought by just 1-1.5 per cent. This means, to develop and come out with drought tolerant maize …

Climate change to push Ethiopian coffee farming uphill

July 31st, 2017 / SciDev.net

Relocating coffee areas, along with forestation and forest conservation, to higher altitudes to cope with climate change could increase Ethiopia‘s coffee farming area fourfold, a study predicts.
The study, published in Nature last month (19 June), suggests that moving Ethiopian coffee fields to higher ground because of climate change could increase …

Loss of fertile land fuels ‘looming crisis’ across Africa

July 31st, 2017 / New York Times, US

Africa itself has a land problem. The continent seems so vast and the land so open. The awesome sense of space is an inextricable part of the beauty here — the unadulterated vistas, the endless land. But in a way, that is an illusion.
Africa itself has a land problem. The …

African biosafety agencies move to bridge GMO communication gap

July 28th, 2017 / Independent, Uganda

African countries are currently having trouble releasing their biotech crops popularly known as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) to farmers, but scientists seem to be embracing a new strategy to ensure that there exist relevant regulatory systems.
On July 18, the biosafety agencies and partners across the continent gathered in Entebbe, Uganda, …