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crop improvement

January 30, 2017Knowledge Portal
Agronomic biofortification of crops to fight hidden hunger in sub-Saharan Africa

This article in the Global Food Security journal discusses the effectiveness of agronomic biofortification – the application of mineral micronutrient fertilizers to soils or plant leaves to increase micronutrient contents in edible parts of crops – and it’s potential to fight hidden hunger. There is evidence that agronomic biofortification can increase yields and the nutritional quality of staple crops, but there is a lack of direct evidence that this leads to improved human health. »

January 25, 2017Knowledge Portal
The impact of taxes and subsidies on crop yields: Agricultural price distortions in Africa

This report elaborates on the impact of agricultural taxes and subsidies on crop yields in Africa. The key finding presented is that both taxes and subsidies wield a negative influence on crop yields. Clearly, levying taxes and subsidies have their merit, for raising public finances and providing rural income support respectively, but neither leads to a more intensified agriculture. »

June 22, 2016Knowledge Portal
Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide

This research on the Royal Society shows how the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. The authors determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries world. »

February 1, 2016Knowledge Portal
Seed systems smallholder farmers use

This article elaborates on the importance of informal seed markets for African family farmers. Using a comprehensive data set with 9660 observations across six countries and covering 40 crops, the authors show that farmers access 90.2 % of their seed from informal systems with 50.9 % of that deriving from local markets. However, current investments are mostly geared towards formal markets instead of informal ones, while the informal sector remains the core for seed acquisition in Africa. »

January 4, 2016Knowledge Portal
How better seeds make Timor-Leste climate resilient

This movie on SciDevNet shows how improved seed varieties in Timor-Leste have contributed to improved food security. The movie documents the advances of the project Seeds of Life, which is designed to improve food security through helping farmers produce and distribute improved seed varieties. The farmers can use the seeds themselves but also sell the seeds for profit. Improved seed varieties can improve climate resilience. »

April 22, 2015Knowledge Portal
Developing beans that can beat the heat

This document (PDF) by CIAT/CGAIR, reports findings from research conducted over the last year on heat tolerance in selected bean lines and show their potential for adapting bean production in Africa and Latin America to future climate change impacts. The paper highlights that high temperatures will become limiting for common bean, especially Latin America is »