Technology has the potential to raise crop yields, cut fertiliser use, improve farming efficiency and, by its nature, make the world’s oldest and least digitised industry more sustainable. But without better communication of the benefits to farmers and the end consumer, agritech could suffer the same fate as genetically modified crops - misunderstood, rejected and demonised. That was the general consensus at the World Agricultural Forum in Singapore last Friday, where expert… Read more.
Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops now are being cultivated on 185.1 million hectares across world including the developing and the industrial countries. This was disclosed by Dr Rhodora R Aldemita, senior programme officer, International Service for the Acquisition of Agro-biotech Application (ISAAA), Philippines while addressing at a city seminar Sunday. Presently, GMO crops are being cultivated on 99.6 million hectares of land in the developing countries which occupies 54 per cent… Read more.
Washington-based global food research think tank -- International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) -- has called for more investment in research and development of non-rice crops in Bangladesh. IFPRI said research is imperative to enhance per unit productivity of non-rice crops so people in Bangladesh can gradually shift from their over-dependency on rice-centric diets and go for more nutritious options like vegetables, fruits, fish and dairy products. IFPRI Country Representative Dr… Read more.
The use of untreated wastewater from cities to irrigate crops downstream is 50 percent more widespread than previously thought, according to a new study published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study relies on advanced modeling methods to provide the first truly comprehensive estimate of the global extent to which farmers use urban wastewater on irrigated cropland. Researchers analyzed data with geographic information systems (GIS) rather than depending on… Read more.
Photosynthesis is one of the most complicated and important processes -- responsible for kick-starting Earth's food chain. While we have modeled its more-than-100 major steps, scientists are still discovering the purpose of proteins that can be engineered to increase yield, as scientists recently proved in Science. Now researchers have uncovered secrets about another protein, CP12 -- the full understanding of which may provide an additional route to boost yields in the future. There are… Read more.
The health effects of zinc and iron deficiencies can be devastating, particularly in developing countries. One strategy for addressing this problem involves fertilizing crops with the micronutrients. But no one has yet figured out whether these added nutrients end up in food products made with the fortified crops. Now researchers report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that this type of biofortification can boost micronutrients in bread, but other factors are also… Read more.
Rice is a staple food in many regions of the world, however it sometimes contains levels of arsenic that are hazardous to our health. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Bayreuth has now discovered that there are arsenic compounds which have a toxic effect on plants and yet had not previously been considered in connection with chemical analyses of rice and the estimated health risks for humans. The research concerns thioarsenates, compounds made up of arsenic and… Read more.
8 June 2017, New York - The world's oceans offer both challenges and solutions to the world's Sustainable Development Agenda, and managing them more carefully is essential for global food security today and tomorrow as well as the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today at the United Nations Ocean Conference. More than three billion people rely on fish for critical animal protein, while 300 million people… Read more.
22 June 2017, Rome - A severe drought followed by heavy rainfalls in Sri Lanka has hit large swaths of cropping areas, threatening the food security of some 900,000 people, according to a report published today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). According to the joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission, drought conditions in 2016 and early 2017 led to widespread crop failures, in… Read more.
In many regions dams play a crucial role, providing both electricity – via hydropower – and water for irrigation. But hydropower and irrigation don't always complement each other. A study reveals that over half the installed hydropower capacity worldwide directly competes with irrigation, suggesting that in these areas increased hydro-electricity production might affect food security. In 2015 hydropower produced more than 85% of the world's renewable electricity. Meanwhile… Read more.