Newly-discovered rice gene goes to the root of drought resistance

6 August, 2013 by (comments)

Crop Scientists have discovered a gene in rice that could significantly improve its resistance to drought, according to new research. The DEEPER ROOTING 1 (DRO1) gene makes the roots of rice plants grow downwards instead of outwards, enabling them to reach water held deeper in the soil. It means that even under conditions of extreme water stress, the plantsRead More …

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Filed Under: Crop diversity, Crops @en, Crops website, Rice @en

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

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

Mineral fertiliser is the key to unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential

3 July, 2013 by (comments)

What is the answer to increasing fertiliser use in Africa? It’s a question many have asked for decades, yet, despite a myriad of meetings, programmes, movements and initiatives, the vast majority of efforts to increase fertiliser use among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa have failed to make a noticeable impact. But, argues Rolf Sommer, CIAT soil scientist and leadRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Soils, Soils website

Climate Change: new study opens can of worms for ecologists

5 February, 2013 by (comments)

We often hear about livestock being a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions – picture them, formidable herds of flatulent quadrupeds munching their way – figuratively speaking – through millions of hectares of rainforest. But it seems we need to look below the surface, literally, to find another climate change culprit: earthworms. That’s because a new study just publishedRead More …

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Filed Under: Climate Change, Soils, Soils website

New journal launched: Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales

21 December, 2012 by (comments)

A new peer-reviewed, scientific journal dedicated entirely to tropical pastures and forages has just been launched as an initiative of scientists from Australia and CIAT. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales will be an open-access, online journal, featuring articles in English and Spanish. It will be published three times-a-year, and the submission, review and publication of articles will be free-of-charge.Read More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Asia @en, Crops @en, Latin America and the Caribbean, Tropical Forages

Quesungual – remember the name, and not just for Scrabble

10 December, 2012 by (comments)

When Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras in 1998, torrential downpours triggered landslides that wiped out huge areas of crops. This compounded a shockwave of malnutrition spreading across the country caused by an intense El Niño-driven drought the year before. But some farmers suffered only minor losses or none at all: they were practicing Quesungual (“Ke-sun-gwal”). If Quesungual sounds like someRead More …

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Filed Under: Climate Change, Latin America and the Caribbean, Soils, Soils website