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Genetic discovery to keep crops disease-free

Curtin University researchers have found a way to breed disease-resistant wheat with no downside, potentially bringing multi-million dollar savings to Australia’s agricultural industry. According to John Curtin Distinguished Professor Richard Oliver, Director of the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens (ACNFP) at Curtin, farmers can lose more than 0.35 tonnes per hectare in wheat yields to Yellow...

Ethiopia project component raring to produce mushroom, biogas and bio-fertilizer from coffee waste

Deep in the heart of the southwestern region of Ethiopia is Jimma city. Accessing Jimma by road is a 410-kilometre trip with picturesque scenery passing through the breathtaking rift valley, the endless acres of teff, maize and the undulating countryside. Fifty kilometres in the outskirts of Jimma deep in the highlands are the coffee plantations. Coffee plantation Development Enterprise (CPDE) owns Limmu Coffee...

Using biological control technologies on maize seeds to increase yields for smallholder farmers.

Joseph Oduor a farmer from South Alego location in Siaya County in Western Kenya is a constantly disappointed man. Poor yields from farming maize over the years have demotivated him. His biggest challenge as with many other farmers in the region is pests and diseases that reduce yields during harvest. According to statistics from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), maize accounts...

Bio-Innovate produces new and elite sweetpotato clones for smallholder famers to mitigate climate change

A team of scientists from Makerere University School of Agricultural Sciences working with Abeteraine Farmers Group in Hoima District, Uganda and funded by the Bio-Innovate Program under the potato, sweetpotato and cassava project – has successfully develop high yielding, drought tolerant and disease resistant sweet potato genotypes. The new genotypes named KSP series; Kabanyolo Sweetpotato after the University’s...

Project overcomes challenges to deliver mushroom and electricity from agro-industrial waste

After two years of crippling difficulties in implementing their project activities, Bio-Innovate’s project on biogas and mushroom production from coffee and sisal waste is optimistic of finally completing and commissioning its pilot facilities that demonstrate use of sisal and coffee waste to produce mushrooms, biogas/electricity and bio-fertilizer by April this year. Professor Amelia Kivaisi the project...

Biotechnologies at Work for Smallholders: Case Studies from Developing Countries in Crops, Livestock and Fish

This book documents a unique series of 19 case studies where agricultural biotechnologies were used to serve the needs of smallholders in developing countries. They cover different regions, production systems, species and underlying socio-economic conditions in the crop (seven case studies), livestock (seven) and aquaculture/fisheries (five) sectors. Most of the case studies involve a single crop, livestock...

The proteins in major biodiesel plant have been mapped – and it does not look good

The castor oil plant produces some very fatty beans from which oil is refined into biodiesel in several countries, eg. Brazil. Now a team of researchers from the University of Southern Denmark along with researchers from Brazil have succeeded in mapping proteins of the bean, and thus it may now be possible to alter the bean’s structure in order to get even more out of the bean than today. The researcher’s...