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The hunger wars in our future

The Great Drought of 2012 is yet to come to an end, but we already know that its consequences will be severe. With more than one-half of US counties designated as drought disaster areas, the 2012 harvest of corn, soybeans and other food staples is guaranteed to fall far short of predictions. This, in turn, will boost food prices domestically and abroad, causing increased misery for farmers and low-income Americans – and far greater hardship for poor people in countries that rely on imported US grains. Read more…

There’s enough to feed 7 billion, but 1 Billion still hungry

Last year, 925 million people suffered from hunger. But the wide misconception is that there simply isn’t enough food to go around. On the contrary, experts argue, there is enough for everyone.  “We have enough food for everyone, yet nearly a billion go hungry,” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a July message that marked population day.

Experts blame people, not nature, for many causes of hunger. For example, climate change’s effects are linked to increased risks of droughts that hit harvests, while market speculation fuels food price inflation. And conflicts displace people or disrupt food-aid delivery, while broad economic disparities in many countries also cause hunger. Add to this the many people who lack the finances or the rights to buy or use enough land to grow their food. Read the rest of this entry »

All wheat varieties will have to be replaced

The winds carried ash clouds from a volcano in Chile thousands of kilometers across the Atlantic Ocean to affect flights in South Africa on 19 June, so it is possible that the spores of the variants of a deadly mutant fungus, Ug99, a wheat stem rust that surfaced in South Africa in 2009, could travel to Australia – one of the world’s four main wheat exporters – in the same way. (Source IRIN) Read More…….

Micropropagation for Production of Quality Banana Planting Material

Banana and plantains are the second largest food-fruit crops of the world produced in the tropical and subtropical regions of mostly the developing countries. The two together are positioned fourth in terms of gross value. During recent years, growth of banana cultivation has witnessed great strides reaching 95.60 million tonnes in 2009 from 66.84 million tonnes in 2001. Read the rest of this entry »

Green Super Rice in offing

Rice bred to perform well in the toughest conditions where the poorest farmers grow rice is a step away from reaching farmers thanks to a major project led by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Green Super Rice is actually a mix of more than 250 different potential rice varieties and hybrids variously adapted to difficult growing conditions such as drought and low inputs, including no pesticide and less fertilizer, and with rapid establishment rates to out-compete weeds, thus reducing the need for herbicides. More types of Green Super Rice that combine many of these traits are in the pipeline.
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