Phone app set to transform how low-income farmers in Africa invest in fertilizer

An upgrade to a mobile phone app now offers farmers across Africa even more benefits and cutting-edge fertilizer use technology. This will help farmers to grow healthier, more productive with increasingly profitable crops, as a result of more informed use of how small amounts of fertilizer impact the crops which they grow.
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Amid global soil crisis, governments struggle to reach farmers

By Fatima Arkin. Reblogged from devex. To help tackle nutrient deficiency and plastic pollution in India’s soils, the country has one of the best knowledge delivery systems and trained human resource power in agriculture research. And yet, over 59 percent of the farming households receive no assistance from either their government or the private sector,…
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The role of earthworms in sustainable agriculture

By Jaswinder Singh Sustainable agriculture means the production of food from plants or animals using different agricultural techniques that protect communities, the environment, and animal welfare. The extensive use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to boost crop yields may have resulted in good yields and productivity, but it has caused the efficiency of the soil to deteriorate throughout…
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New study shows that bacteria can be engineered to create their own fertilizer using air

Researchers have successfully engineered bacteria to use nitrogen at night to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This new development could reduce the need for human-made fertilizers on agricultural crops, thus reducing the cost and manpower required for fertilizer application.
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Smallholder farmers in Malawi are growing fertilizer trees on their farms to improve food production

The adoption of fertilizer trees on farms is a simple and effective way to improve soil fertility, food productivity and therefore contribute to food security. Yet, there is still little empirical research that documents the impact of fertilizer trees on food security among smallholder farmer households. Researchers from the World Agroforestry Centre carried out a…
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Update: Plant Health News (18 May 16)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the completion of the sequencing of the carrot genome, the threat of wheat blast in Asia and the potential use of spider venom as an effective natural pesticide. Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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The problems of achieving food security for 1.6 billion people in China

It is predicted that the population of China will stabilise at 1.6 billion within the next two decades. In order to feed this many people, crop production will need to increase by 2% each year to provide the estimated 580 million tonnes of grain that will be required. Mingsheng Fan and colleagues have published a…
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