Rising levels of CO2 could exacerbate malnutrition

New research suggests that rising levels of carbon dioxide will not only have a devastating effect on our climate but will lower the nutritional value of many staple crops, increasing deficiencies in iron and zinc.
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Managing plant pathogens by enhancing ecosystem services

  From the 8th-12th April experts met in Bellagio, Italy to develop a strategy to mitigate the effects emerging plant diseases are having on crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Among these experts were Plantwise staff. A major theme throughout the conference was ecosystem services and how agricultural biodiversity can enhance the provision of these services, creating resilient agro-ecosystems. Click on the…
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Marginalised issues in food security: Oxford Food Security Forum 2014

A blog by Léna Durocher-Granger and Rachel Hill On 4th May we attended the Oxford Food Security Forum’s Annual Conference. The conference aimed to address some of the topics in food security research that have become excluded or marginalised.
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International Women’s Day 2014: Women in agriculture

I would like to acknowledge Abigail Rumsey, Claire Curry, Emily Palmer and Léna Durocher-Granger for their contributions to this blog post. For over a century countries globally have celebrated International Women’s Day as a day to reflect on the role of women in society. In honor of International Women’s Day 2014 we are giving a…
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Crop diversification finds home for ‘orphan crops’

The term ‘orphan crops’ refers to plant species and varieties that of recent decades have been ignored by governments, seed companies and scientists due to their limited importance in global markets. Instead, only a few major staples have been of interest. From fruits and vegetables to grains and nuts, many orphan crops are highly nutritious,…
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Plantwise 2013 Highlights

As we move into the New Year and all that 2014 has to offer it seems like a good time to review some of the achievements of 2013. Here are a few of the Plantwise highlights of 2013!
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Bread from the ‘Tree of Life’

Breadfruit has been coined the new ‘super-fruit’ and according to some has the ability to alleviate world hunger. However, it has recently been discovered that breadfruit may also have a very different role in saving lives. Scientists have isolated three chemicals produced in the male inflorescence of the breadfruit that are extremely effective at repelling…
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Update: Plant Health News (18 Dec 13)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the use of technology to improve the detection of papaya viruses, toxins discovered in banana root tissue kill root pests and the vital importance of water conservation in Nigeria to avoid food crises. Click on the links to read more of the…
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Typhoon Haiyan Devastates Agriculture in the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record tore through the Philippines on 8th November. With a confirmed death toll of 4,460, 4 million people displaced and 13 million people affected, the typhoon has undoubtedly caused widespread destruction and devastation. The destruction to the country’s agricultural sectors is becoming increasingly evident. An estimated…
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The Bird, the Borer and the Bean

A recent study carried out in Costa Rica found that insectivorous birds such as the Yellow Warbler help to reduce infestations of the Coffee Berry Borer Beetle on coffee plantations by 50%. This free pest control service is estimated to save a medium sized coffee farm up to $9,400 per year. The study carried out by…
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