Tens of millions of pounds are to be spent on developing “super crops” to improve diets in poor countries in the face of climate change, the government has said.

Farmers in the North West Himalayan region generally practise rainfed agriculture and have very limited scope for irrigation. Water scarcity is a major constraint for crop production in these areas. This problem exacerbates further during the Rabi season where vagaries of winter rain result in complete crop failure.

An international consortium has sequenced the entire genome of durum wheat -- the source of semolina for pasta, a food staple for the world's population, according to an article published today in

Scientists in the US have engineered tobacco plants that can grow up to 40% larger than normal in field trials.

There is growing recognition of the importance of women’s empowerment in its own right and for a range of development outcomes, but less understanding of what empowerment means to rural women and men. The challenge of measuring empowerment, particularly across cultures and contexts, is also garnering attention.

The rice model ORYZA v3 has been recently improved to account for salt stress effect on rice crop growth and yield. This paper details subsequent studies using the improved model to explore opportunities for improving salinity tolerance in rice.

Successfully eradicating poverty through agriculture depends on whether a country has enough agricultural land, how fertile it is, and the demographic pressures. That is the key finding of new research by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

The biological improvement of fertilizer nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is hampered by the poor characterization of the phenotype and genotype for crop N response and NUE. In an attempt to identify phenotypic traits for N-response and NUE in the earliest stages of plant growth, we analyzed the N-responsive germination, respiration, urease activities, and root/shoot growth of 21 Indica genotypes of rice (Oryza sativa var. indica). We found that N delays germination from 0 to 12 h in a genotype-dependent and source-dependent manner, especially with urea and nitrate.

Wastage of chemical inputs and environmental degradation have been a serious issues with conventional methods of pesticide application in agricultural and horticultural engenderment, resulting in fruit poisoning.

Wheat is an important staple that acts as a primary source of dietary energy, protein, and essential micronutrients such as iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) for the world’s population. Approximately two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiency, thus breeders have crossed high Zn progenitors such as synthetic hexaploid wheat, T. dicoccum, T. spelta, and landraces to generate wheat varieties with competitive yield and enhanced grain Zn that are being adopted by farmers in South Asia.

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