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Facing drought-induced food shortage, Zimbabwe confronts GMO dilemma

October 26th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Zimbabwe is facing a crippling maize (staple in Zimbabwe) shortage. Vice President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has revealed that the cash strapped government needs at least US$300 million to import 700 000 tons of maize to meet national consumption. And According to the World Food Program (WFP), Zimbabwe’s food crisis …

Drought-tolerant maize improves yields in 13 countries

October 22nd, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

A new project has begun following the end of a related initiative that has provided more than 200 improved maize varieties for farmers in 13 Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project launched eight years ago under the Global Maize Program of the International Maize and …

Could pigeon pea be a life-changer for Malawi’s drought-stricken farmers?

October 13th, 2015 / AllAfrica

The pigeon pea, a high protein pulse, has proven resistant to El Niño’s disastrous effects in Malawi. The FAO has estimated that cereal harvests have decreased by up to 27% compared to last year, and UN’s WFP recently announced that 2.8 million people in Malawi will face hunger in coming …

Biotech strategies to enhance plants’ natural response to drought

October 2nd, 2015 / ISB News Report, US

How do plants deal with flood and drought? They cope by triggering different strategies. Water deficit and water excess are major factors affecting plants yield worldwide. To cope with such factors, plants trigger physiological and biochemical changes allowing them to survive for a limited period of time. See …

Kenya: New drought-tolerant maize

September 25th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

The African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), in collaboration with Crop Africa Seeds, has developed a drought tolerant maize variety for Kenyan farmers. The maize variety has been named WE1101. It is said to be able to cope with drought conditions and still produce yields comparable with other commercial varieties. …

As drought destroys maize, Zimbabwe tries new climate-resilient staples

September 14th, 2015 / AllAfrica

In a country where maize porridge is ingrained in eating habits, Jambezi farmers are growing sorghum and millet for food, cash and to improve their resilience to harsher weather conditions that have made maize an increasingly risky crop. Read …

As drought hits, Tanzania cooks up sweet potato

September 11th, 2015 / Thomson Reuters Foundation, UK

In the wind-swept plains of Kishapu, in Tanzania’s northern Shinyanga region, Himelda Tumbo has for a few years struggled to grow maize on her farm. “I have suffered huge losses due to drought. The seasonal rains are not enough and the crops are drying up,” she complained. Maize once …

Tanzanian farmer brings forest back to life

August 14th, 2015 / SciDev.net

The village of Nkoasenga in northern Tanzania is increasingly experiencing drought and soil degradation, which make it harder for local people to grow food and cash crops. Jonas Somi, a 65-year-old farmer from Nkoasenga, blames the village’s environmental problems on deforestation and is planting fast-growing Grevillea robusta to provide shade …

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 …

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