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Make agricultural research and data accessible

March 30th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Africa needs to refocus research thinking and agenda on the continent for agriculture to become productive and aid development, say agricultural experts. According to panellists at a SciDev.Net event organised in conjunction with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications in Nigeria, research is necessary for agricultural growth …

Project helps African farmers address stresses in maize farming

March 29th, 2016 / Commodities and Fair Trade News,

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and its partners have unveiled a new project – Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) – to diminish devastating environmental effects in maize production that occur simultaneously across many regions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The new project will develop new improved varieties …

African Union official hails Ugandan scientists on biotech

March 29th, 2016 / New Vision, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Christopher Bendana, reports: Sunday Akile, the programme officer for legal and policy biosafety at the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), has lauded Ugandan scientists doing research on biotechnology. ABNE is an institution of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). “Our scientists have scored high in this …

Reducing food losses and waste in sub-Saharan Africa

March 29th, 2016 / FAO, Italy

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. These losses are particularly unfortunate in Africa where 220 million people are estimated to be undernourished. Climate-induced crop failures — including those caused by the ongoing …

El Niño threatens food security in Africa

March 28th, 2016 / Dipnote, US

The second worst El Niño episode in history has hit Africa with devastating force, causing extensive drought and flooding that are in turn causing or exacerbating widespread hunger. El Niño is a complex weather pattern that stems from variations in ocean temperatures; it is not necessarily related to global …

Science meets farming to reveal Africa’s best bean

March 28th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Around 23 million tonnes of beans are grown globally for trade and local consumption every year. Across the world, millions of farmers depend on one or more of the 40,000 known bean varieties. But beans are a fragile crop. They need lots of water and stable temperatures to grow. A …

Southern Africa warned of severe food crisis

March 28th, 2016 / eNCA, South Africa

The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) has warned of severe food insecurity across the Southern Africa region in 2016-2017 after two years of consecutive drought which have limited crop production. In a new special report entitled “Illustrating the extent and severity of the 2015-2016 drought,” FEWSNET said although temporary …

8 out of the 10 countries with worst access to safe water are in Africa

March 28th, 2016 / AfricanInsider, US

Worldwide, some 650 million people still do not have access to clean water, according to WaterAid. Government subsidized water sources often are reserved for wealthier communities, leaving the poorest to spend disproportionately. Almost half of those — 300 million plus — are in Africa. Yet Africa has possibly 20 times …

Modern peanut’s wild cousin, thought extinct, found in Andes

March 28th, 2016 / Scientific American, US

the The modern peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is the result of the hybridization of two older types of Andean peanut. It has 20 pairs of chromosomes—the total from both old species, which have 10 chromosomes each. Scientists always thought—a suspicion now confirmed—that the “parents” of this peanut were the variants Arachis …

Scientists aim to adapt wheat to a warmer climate with less water

March 26th, 2016 / CIMMYT, Mexico

Scientists battling to increase wheat production by more than 60 percent over the next 35 years to meet projected demand are optimistic that they have begun to unravel the genetic mysteries that will lead to a more productive plant. A recent study conducted at 26 international sites with a new …