SciDev.Net

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  • Researchers model ways to control deadly maize disease

    Researchers model ways to control deadly maize disease

    Researchers have used mathematical modelling to develop techniques to combat two co-infecting viruses causing maize lethal necrosis (MLN) in Kenya. According to researchers who conducted the new study, because maize is a staple crop in ...

  • The race against time to bank the world’s threatened seeds

    The race against time to bank the world’s threatened seeds

    Just over an hour’s drive from London, down winding lanes lined with oak and beech trees, lies a concrete and glass building housing scientists tasked with a Herculean mission — to safeguard the future of food. The Kew Millennium Seed ...

    Jon Spaull;Imogen Mathers

  • Debate: Why aren’t farmers using agricultural tech?

    Debate: Why aren’t farmers using agricultural tech?

    Take part in our online debate that will take place on this page on 9 June starting at 1pm British Summer Time (GMT+1). Over two hours, our expert panel will help steer a discussion on why farmers in developing countries are not improving ...

  • Conversion of coconut gene farms threatens diversity

    Conversion of coconut gene farms threatens diversity

    The land conversion of coconut gene banks located in research farms across the Asia-Pacific threatens the future of coconut diversity, researchers warn. A coconut gene bank in Indonesia was recently converted into a racetrack while another in Samoa ...

    Anna Valmero

  • The wealth of forests

    The wealth of forests

    The day I first set foot in a tropical rainforest, in Malaysia in the early 1980s, I experienced something profound. From the echoes of gibbons calling from the canopy in the early morning mist to the iridescent flash of a bird in a beam of ...

    Kaz Janowski

  • Insecticide risk map exposes threat to aquatic life

    Insecticide risk map exposes threat to aquatic life

    The global threat that insecticides pose for aquatic biodiversity has been revealed in a recent modelling study that pinpoints areas at greatest risk. The mapping exercise conducted by the researchers reveals that aquatic life in water bodies ...

    Paulo Rebêlo

  • Peru: Olmos irrigation project sparks development debate

    Peru: Olmos irrigation project sparks development debate

    The recently launched irrigation and hydropower Olmos megaproject in Peru is hailed a ‘masterpiece of engineering’ aimed at stimulating rural development — but some fear the initiative will mostly benefit big companies. The ...

    Zoraida Portillo

  • Experts question slowing Amazon deforestation trend

    Experts question slowing Amazon deforestation trend

    Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest fell by 18 per cent this year, according to official government figures, but some experts are surprised by the news and fear the true trend remains upward. The estimated area of forest cleared in ...

    Fabíola Ortiz

  • Ethiopia’s seed banks and the search for food security

    Ethiopia’s seed banks and the search for food security

    The community seed bank in Chefe Donsa, a village two hours’ drive east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, collects and preserves the seeds of local crops to ensure farmers have a steady supply of seeds to sow each year. The Chefe Donsa ...

    Marco Boscolo

  • Becoming a top female fisheries researcher in Kenya

    Becoming a top female fisheries researcher in Kenya

    In this film, as part of our series Africa’s PhD renaissance, scientist Nina Wambiji talks about how the support she has received from AWARD (African Women in Agricultural Research and Development) has helped her become a leading researcher in ...

    Jon Spaull

  • Investing in female scientists to feed Africa

    Investing in female scientists to feed Africa

    In this interview, Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, director of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development fellowship programme in Kenya, talks about AWARD’s work supporting the careers of female agricultural scientists across ...

    Jon Spaull

  • Should access to phosphorus be a human right?

    Should access to phosphorus be a human right?

    Food is a fundamental human right, as set down by international human rights treaties and, often, national constitutions. But the right to food cannot be ensured without a corresponding right to phosphorus, as some scientists pointed out at the ...

    Michelle Dobrovolny

  • Indian government still ‘flip flopping’ on GM trials

    Indian government still ‘flip flopping’ on GM trials

    In August, India’s ruling nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stopped its legislators from accepting Monsanto sponsorship to attend a farm exhibition in the US state of Iowa. On the surface this might seem strange: attending the Farm ...

    Ranjit Devraj

  • The problems with the arguments against GM crops

    The problems with the arguments against GM crops

    New evidence shows that arguments against GM crops are unfounded, says Margaret Karembu. The year 2013 marked the 18th consecutive year of commercial cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or now commonly referred to as biotech crops. ...

    Margaret Karembu

  • Climate Pact May Depend on Side Deals by Poor Nations

    Climate Pact May Depend on Side Deals by Poor Nations

    The interests of rich countries can seem to dominate climate change negotiations, but a study that models such talks as a ‘bargaining game’ shows that side deals among poorer nations could boost chances of an international agreement. ...

    Jan Piotrowski

  • Cheap chemicals entice caterpillar-eating wasps to crops

    Cheap chemicals entice caterpillar-eating wasps to crops

    It may be a win-win situation: treating seeds with commercially available growth promoters before planting could have the added benefit of attracting parasitic wasps that feed on caterpillar pests, suggests a study. The protective effect of these ...

    Ola Al-Ghazawy

  • Q&A: Achim Steiner on science in the post-2015 goals

    Q&A: Achim Steiner on science in the post-2015 goals

    As executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner has been at the forefront of international conferences on environment and sustainable development, including the Rio+20 conference in June 2012. SciDev.Net ...

    T. V. Padma

  • The disappearing rivers of Bangladesh

    The disappearing rivers of Bangladesh

    Bangladesh is a land of rivers, but changing climate has caused a third of the country’s more than 300 large rivers to disappear. The rivers are drying out as a result of barriers built upstream to divert water and protect people from floods ...

    Naimul Haq

  • Food security: Facts and figures

    Food security: Facts and figures

    Food security is deeply connected to other development challenges and poor health. Michael Hoevel traces the links. Food security addresses one of humankind’s most fundamental needs — access to a nutritious and adequate diet. It is ...

    Michael Hoevel

  • Food security demands diversity

    Food security demands diversity

    The challenge calls for divergent solutions — small-scale, tech-based initiatives as much as long-term research. Last month our Spotlight pages explored sustainable food production — how farmers can grow more food with scarce resources, ...

    Anita Makri