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News Headlines

Beans could help fill Africa’s fertiliser gap

[KAMPALA] An ongoing project that encourages African farmers to plant beans as food and fertiliser could help counteract the impact of limited fertiliser take-up across the continent as highlighted in a recent report.

News Headlines

Long-term nitrogen fertilizer use disrupts plant-microbe mutualisms

When exposed to nitrogen fertilizer over a period of years, nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia evolve to become less beneficial to legumes -- the plants they normally serve, researchers report in a new study.

News Headlines

Plants found to alter soil types

Exciting research has revealed some plants have the ability to alter soil types, suggesting opportunities may exist to re-engineer WA's hostile soils to better suit agricultural purposes.

News Headlines

Kenya: Go for Sorghum, Say Climate Smart Farmers

Sorghum assures us of nutritious food for our families as well as cattle; sorghum fetches a better price than maize and gives more yield per acre.

News Headlines

Battle to feed the world pits small farmers against big agriculture

Do small-scale farmers hold the key to fulfilling global goals on hunger and poverty? Or can they only be achieved by large-scale agriculture?

News Headlines

Bhutan’s seed bank to ensure food security

Boasting of more than 300 local rice varieties that have withstood varying weather conditions over the ages, Bhutan is relying on its seed bank - a conserve of seeds and other genetic resources of indigenous plants - to tackle food security issues arising out of climate change.

News Headlines

World crop diversity survives in small farms from peri-urban to remote rural locations

As much as 75 percent of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by a wide range of small farmholders -- workers of less than three to seven acres -- with the rest in gene banks.

News Headlines

Ethiopian Shade Coffee Is World's Most Bird Friendly

Shady coffee plantations in Ethiopia, where coffee has been grown for at least a thousand years, hold more bird species than any other coffee farms in the world, new research shows.

News Headlines

Central America’s food security threatened by drought

Farmers in the Trifinio region – the border area shared by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – are all too familiar with drought, crop loss and the very real threat to food security.

News Headlines

Study: Ongoing bee decline could exacerbate malnutrition

BURLINGTON, Vt., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Declining pollinator populations could push a quarter of the world's population back toward malnutrition, especially in developing countries where poverty is common and food is scarce.

News Headlines

South Sudan finds hope in honey

Jan 26 (Reuters) - A harvest of honey from the equatorial forests of South Sudan will help its struggling poor and, through the pollination of bees, improve the nation's crop yields, those involved say.

News Headlines

Commercial bees threaten wild bees, say researchers

The trade in bees used for honey or to pollinate crops could have a devastating impact on wild bees and other insects, say scientists.

News Headlines

Rural farmers coping with climate change

DOREEN NAWA, Lusaka: SHE grew up knowing that the rains start on October 24, the day Zambia got independence from colonial rule, or a week later.

News Headlines

UN agency stresses need for genetic diversity in agriculture to combat climate change

19 January 2015 – Knowledge of agricultural genetic resources needs to grow more quickly because of the critical role they have to play in feeding the world as climate change advances faster than expected, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

News Headlines

Crops can do their own weed control

Weeds would have a tough time competing against crops such as corn, grains and beans if farmers were to alter their sowing patterns, experts say.

News Headlines

Agriculture: State-of-the-art soil

A charcoal-rich product called biochar could boost agricultural yields and control pollution. Scientists are putting the trendy substance to the test.

News Headlines

More Than Half of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production

NTUNGAMO DISTRICT, Uganda, Jan 13 2015 (IPS) - A report published last month by the Montpellier Panel – an eminent group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe – says about 65 percent of Africa’s arable land is too damaged to sustain viable food production.

News Headlines

Organic Farming in India Points the Way to Sustainable Agriculture

NAGAPATNAM, India, Jan 7 2015 (IPS) - Standing amidst his lush green paddy fields in Nagapatnam, a coastal district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a farmer named Ramajayam remembers how a single wave changed his entire life.

News Headlines

Organic farming not always best for environment, says government adviser

Organic farming could be worse for the climate than conventional farming methods, one of the government’s scientific advisers has said, because of the greater land use required and the methods used.

News Headlines

Exploit organic agriculture, Uganda advised

Uganda must capitalise on its potential in organic agriculture; improve product quality and packaging to capture a larger share of the American export market.

News Headlines

Farmers in New South Wales give measured response to biodiversity policy review recommendations

Farmers have been anxiously awaiting the results of the review after having awaited a change in policy for the full term of the current New South Wales Government

News Headlines

Success of 'land sparing' will depend on global economics, regulations

Agriculture is the primary driver of tropical deforestation.

News Headlines

Back to the future: Scientists want 'rewilded' crops to boost agriculture

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Scientists should "re-wild" food crops by inserting lost genetic properties of ancient, edible plants in order to boost agricultural output for a growing population, a new study said.

News Headlines

A magic wand for nutrition and incomes in Mozambique?

Smallholder farmers in Mozambique are growing nutritious and lucrative varieties of orange-fleshed sweet potato.

News Headlines

Report: Double African Agriculture R&D

Sub-Saharan Africa’s long-term food security faces a number of threats.

News Headlines

Global importance of urban agriculture 'underestimated'

Urban agriculture is playing an increasingly important role in global food security, a study has suggested.

News Headlines

Protecting Africa's bees for world food security

Scientists in a new, world-class laboratory in Kenya will work to protect Africa's bees and help farmers produce top-quality honey and wax for international markets.

News Headlines

New pasture varieties could 'soup up' weeds

New varieties of existing pastures designed to meet the world's growing demand for milk and meat could create major weed problems, say ecologists.

News Headlines

Gates foundation spends bulk of agriculture grants in rich countries

African NGOs received just 4% of Bill Gates’s money for agriculture work, with 75% for US organisations, report says

News Headlines

UN urges salt-damage solution to reduce threat to crops

About 2,000 hectares of fertile land are lost each day due to damage caused by salt, according to a UN analysis.

News Headlines

Back agriculture to get the most out of aid to Africa

European countries devote small percentages of their national income to international aid, but these add up to colossal amounts — in the UK, for example, 0.7 per cent amounts to £11 billion a year.

News Headlines

View on Poverty: Big data protects farmers’ livelihoods

“Don’t plant any crops” was the expert advice one group of Colombian farmers received from a research partnership last year.

News Headlines

Rising to "the greatest challenge in human history"

Different obstacles to food security need different solutions. Experience shows that a combination of actions is needed to reduce hunger and guarantee food security in the longer run.

News Headlines

View on Poverty: Big data protects farmers’ livelihoods

“Don’t plant any crops” was the expert advice one group of Colombian farmers received from a research partnership last year.

News Headlines

Africa’s agriculture system… need for new approaches

The transformation of Africa’s agriculture system will require new approaches, new methodologies, new efficiencies, and the accompanying political focus needed to effect change.

News Headlines

Hacked photosynthesis could boost crop yields

It is difficult to find fault with a process that can create food from sunlight, water and air, but for many plants, there is room for improvement.

News Headlines

Climate smart farmers get tech savvy to save India's bread basket

KARNAL (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Erratic weather, rising temperatures, declining water resources and labour shortages are threatening India's bread basket state of Haryana, forcing farmers to abandon age-old practices and adopt technology to ensure food supplies for millions.

News Headlines

Baobab holds out promise for Malawi’s farmers and forests

Demand for powder from the ‘superfruit’ could boost farmers’ incomes, slow deforestation and protect biodiversity

News Headlines

Salvadoran Farmers Stake Their Bets on Sustainable Development

JIQUILISCO, El Salvador , Sep 12 2014 (IPS) - Peasant farmers from one of El Salvador’s most fragile coastal areas are implementing a model of sustainable economic growth that respects the environment and offers people education and security as keys to give the wetland region a boost.

News Headlines

Bolivian vice president proposes unprecedented agricultural expansion

On August 14, the Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, made a startling announcement: by 2025, Bolivia was going to make two striking developments - first, it would expand all cultivated land to 2.5 times its present area, and second, it would triple food production from 15 to 45 milli ...

News Headlines

Food crop wild relatives endangered

Scientists have released the most complete database of the wild relatives of common food crops.

News Headlines

Ethiopia Keen to Share Best Practices in Agriculture

Ethiopia says it is ready to share its best practices in improving agricultural production and productivity with fellow African countries. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn held talks on Tuesday with Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General, who is in Addis Ababa for the 4th Africa ...

News Headlines

OPINION: Africans’ Land Rights at Risk as New Agricultural Trend Sweeps Continent

NAIROBI, Sep 1 2014 (IPS) - Agriculture in Africa is in urgent need of investment. Nearly 550 million people there are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, while half of the total population on the continent live in rural areas.

News Headlines

Japan’s Agriculture Dilemma

Achieving large-scale agriculture is an imperative, yet political opposition is formidable.

News Headlines

Nigeria: Building a Viable Economy Through Agriculture

Agriculture was the mainstay of the Nigeria economy, before Nigeria joined the league of oil producing nations in 1958. Before this date, the agricultural sector was a major employer of labor in Nigeria, with groundnut, cocoa, cotton, rubber and palm oil the main cash crops produced. And from th ...

News Headlines

Organic Farming Taking Off in Poland … Slowly

WARSAW, Aug 21 2014 (IPS) - Polish farmer Slawek Dobrodziej has probably the world’s strangest triathlon training regime: he swims across the lake at the back of his house, then runs across his some 11 hectares of land to check the state of the crops, and at the end of the day bikes close to 40 ...

News Headlines

Adaptation Gaps Mean African Farmers Fork Out More Money for Reduced Harvests

“I spend more money today buying farm implements such as water tanks, watering pumps, fertilisers, insecticides and improved seeds. I think we must spend in farming today if we want to adapt to climate change,” Muma tells IPS.

News Headlines

Meeting water and energy challenges in agri-food sector with technology

Innovations in sugar cane processing to reduce water use and produce energy will help to meet future agricultural product demands

News Headlines

Ghana’s cocoa farmers turn to smuggling as profits dwindle

“We are the backbone of Ghana’s economy but our lives have not been transformed,” says Affuekeh Ekyae, 76, who has farmed cocoa in Adonikrom, another village in Ghana’s cocoa-producing western region, for 30 years. “Where is the profit?

News Headlines

Eco-Friendly Agriculture Puts Down Roots in Spain

MALAGA, Spain, Aug 12 2014 (IPS) - José María Gómez squats and pulls up a bunch of carrots from the soil as well as a few leeks. This farmer from southern Spain believes organic farming is more than just not using pesticides and other chemicals – it’s a way of life, he says, which requires creat ...

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