The Climate Reality Project- Coffee Production Hit by Climate Change

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[ustream id=27051308 hwaccel=1 version=3 width=480 height=302] Video streaming by Ustream Recently aired as part of The Climate Reality Project (founded by Al Gore), this documentary contains a 5 minute ¬†film about climate change and smallholder coffee production in Colombia. The film featured as part of a 24 hour online stream of climate documentaries and discussions…
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Armyworms devastate crops in Zambia, threatening food security

Armyworms in Zambia are threatening food security by reducing crop yields. This was the message from former Agriculture Minister Eustarkio Kazong, speaking in an interview for Zambian radio station, QFM. Armyworms are attacking crops, causing major damage to maize, cassava, sorghum and rice. In Kabwe, the capital of the Central Province where the first cases…
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Research Projects Into Improving Crop Plants Receive Major Funding

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The University of Illinois has received a five year, $25 million grant from the¬†Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation¬†to improve the photosynthetic properties of key food crops, such as rice and cassava. The project, entitled ‚ÄėRIPE- Realising Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency‚Äô has the potential to benefit farmers by improving the productivity of staple food crops.¬†Increasing photosynthetic efficiency…
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Typhoon Devastates 10,000 ha of Banana Plantation In the Philippines

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The Philippines, the world‚Äôs third largest exporter of bananas, has lost up to a quarter of its banana plantations after typhoon Pablo, also known as typhoon Bopha, struck. The typhoon is one of the most powerful ever recorded in the island of Mindanao and has caused the deaths of over 400 people as well as…
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Is sustainable agriculture the answer to climate change?

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As the most recent set of climate change talks draw to a close, the focus is once again on the policies that could help in the resolution of this global issue. There has been little faith in the outcomes of these talks before, with targets continuously missed. The conference aims to secure a new treaty…
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Slicing Into The Bread Wheat Genome

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Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a globally important crop that accounts for 20% of the calories consumed by the world‚Äôs human population. Major work is underway to increase wheat production by expanding knowledge of the wheat genome and analysing key traits, however due to the large size and great complexity of the bread wheat genome…
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Watermelon Genome Could Hold the Key to Improved Varieties With Fewer Pest Problems

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A research team led by the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences have produced the complete genomic sequence of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). It is hoped that the genomic data from this study will shape future research into watermelon genetics and provide a good resource for crop genetics and future plant breeding projects, resulting in…
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Plantwise Plant Clinics in Trinidad and Tobago

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Trinidad and Tobago Country Coordinator Shamela Rambadan sent the photo below of a Soursop (Annona muricata) plant brought into a clinic in County Victoria in Trinidad and Tobago by farmer Ramesh Ramnanan last month. The symptoms described included yellowed, distorted leaves and visible insects on the leaves, as seen in the photo. Plant health officer…
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Floods in Haiti and India devastate crops

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Hurricane Sandy has left fields in the south of Haiti under water, causing crop losses of up to 40%. This follows damage from a drought and the effects of Hurricane Isaac earlier this year. Meanwhile, 9000 miles away in Andhra Pradesh, India, rice farmers are also suffering with their crops waist-deep in floodwater following several…
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Bean and Gone – Controlling the Coffee Berry Borer Using Integrated Pest Management

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The Coffee Berry Borer, Hypothenemus hampei, is a tiny beetle which is widely considered to be the most damaging pest of coffee plantations in the world. Originating in Africa, it is now found in almost all coffee growing areas in the world as an invasive species, with nearly 160 records from different areas worldwide on…
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