Minding the gaps: scientists hail major advance in adapting food crops to climate change

31 July, 2013 by (comments)

Global efforts to adapt staple foods like rice, wheat and potato to climate change have been given a major boost as new research reveals the details and whereabouts of their “wild relatives” – their undomesticated distant cousins that could contain secrets to making food crops more productive and resilient. Some of these wild and weedy species have evolved toRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Asia @en, Climate Change, Climate Change website, Crop diversity, Latin America and the Caribbean

Breaking new ground – mapping soil in Africa

30 July, 2013 by (comments)

In 2009, a group of scientists in Africa embarked on the Africa Soil Information System (AfSIS) project. Their goal: to fill a gap that has hampered scientific progress and agricultural and economic development in Africa for years – detailed information about African soils. Four years, more than 350 partners and 17,000 soil samples later, they’ve done just that –Read More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Soils, Soils website

Gorilla beans featured in The Guardian

22 July, 2013 by (comments)

UK Newspaper The Guardian has published a picture feature on Gorilla Beans in its Global Development section today. The beans – rich in iron and zinc – were developed by HarvestPlus, a joint programme of CIAT and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). They’re proving popular with farmers in eastern DR Congo, where micronutrient malnutrition is widespread. ForRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Beans @en, CIAT in the media

RTBMaps: more than just eye candy for scientists

15 July, 2013 by (comments)

If you ever needed proof of the power of visual data, try this: Visit the RTBMaps website. You’ll arrive at a big world map. Click on the “Biotic” button, and select “cassava mealybug.” Then hold onto your seat. That little exercise did more to hammer home the potential vulnerability of cassava to this formidable pest than any peer-reviewed studyRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Asia @en, Cassava @en, Latin America and the Caribbean

Urgent action needed to prevent food shortages in West Africa’s Volta Basin

15 July, 2013 by (comments)

Tens of thousands living in West Africa’s Volta Basin could be displaced in 15 years because they won’t be able to grow enough food where they live. Their once fertile land is becoming so severely degraded due to poor land management practices that scientists predict food production in the area could drop by as much as 40% by 2028Read More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Soils, Soils website

Bean impact: making sense of 16%

12 July, 2013 by (comments)

Having had the chance to witness the spread of better beans in East Africa it was great to hear that the, well, bean counters had been sent in to do a formal impact assessment. The results will form part a series of studies known as the Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA). But at first glance,Read More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Beans @en

On the trail of DR Congo’s purple “gorillas”

11 July, 2013 by (comments)

We’ve travelled about an hour north of Bukavu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, against the flow of UN trucks, to pull up at a thronging crossroads in Mita village. On the dusty traffic island are indicators that we’re not far from one of the few refuges of the endangered eastern lowland gorilla: a dilapidated tourist sign for Kahuzi-Biega NationalRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Beans @en, Crops @en, Crops website