Scientists are contributing a lot to household nutrition

 

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: ILRI/Bio-Innovate

Four scientists win a prize for aiding health, nutrition

http://www.scidev.net/sub-saharan-africa/nutrition/news/scientists-win-wfp-aiding-health-nutrition.html

by Esther Nakkazi

“The award is also a proof to the policymakers and all Ugandans that scientists are contributing a lot to household nutrition.” – Jolly Kabirizi, National Livestock Resources Research Institute, Uganda

Speed read

  • Vitamin A deficiency makes 500,000 children go blind a year worldwide
  • Four scientists win a prize for combating vitamin A deficiency
  • Their R&D has led to many African nations getting better potato varieties

     

    Four scientists — three of them in Africa — have won US$250,000 for combined success in improving nutrition and healththrough combating vitamin A deficiency in vulnerable populations.

    Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, announced last month (28 June), that the 2016 World Food Prize will be awarded to them.

    The award indicates the need for investing in agricultural research to improve the livelihood of the poor, said Quinn, in a statement.

    Maria Andrade and Robert Mwanga, working for the International Potato Center (CIP), have bred the Vitamin A-enriched orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP), which has contributed to averting blindness.

    The other winner, Jan Low, who is based in Kenya, is the project manager of the Sweet potato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA) project for the CIP.

    SASHA advocates for use of a proven integrated agriculture and nutrition approach in Sub-Sharan Africa.

    Every year up to 500,000 children worldwide go blind and half of them die within 12 months after going blind due to vitamin A deficiency, says the WHO.

    OFSP provides vitamin A to children, pregnant and lactating mothers.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Opportunity to tailor the photosynthetic performance of crops for specific environments.

 

 

Towards smarter crop plants to feed the world

Source: Lancaster University

Summary:

Plant scientists have made an important advance in understanding the natural diversity of a key plant enzyme which could help us address the looming threat of global food security.

Read the full story: Science Daily

More extreme droughts could negatively affect carbon sequestration.

 

Photo credit: Science Daily

A new article explains that understanding the seasonality of photosynthesis can help scientists assess whether or not the Amazon is under stress and how it handles and recovers from stress.
Credit: © Pomaikai / Fotolia

Rainforest greener during ‘dry’ season

Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

Summary:

At 2.7 million square miles, the Amazon Jungle is the world’s largest rainforest. Researchers now believe the rainforest has different levels of photosynthesis, with more during the dry season. They report that more extreme droughts due to climate change could negatively affect the rainforest’s ability to sequester carbon through photosynthesis.

Read the full story: Science Daily

IN MY DESERTIFICATION LIBRARY: BOOK NR. 11

 

Sustainable dryland cropping in relation to soil productivity

Posted by Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM

Ghent University – Belgium

 

Having participated in all the meetings of the INCD (1992-1994) and all the meetings of the UNCCD-COP, the CST and the CRIC in 1994-2006, I had an opportunity to collect a lot of interesting books and publications on drought and desertification published in that period.

Sustainable dryland cropping in relation to soil productivity

Book Nr. 11

Please click: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Z3d6mbn4q-TkkT6juw9mHxBZ6XLu9WU20zu4OAnZFfA/edit?usp=sharing

or see Sustainable dryland cropping in relation to soil productivity

Grass strategy in drought conditions

 

 

Crop roots enact austerity measures during drought to bank water

Grass strategy in drought conditions could be harnessed to improve crop productivity

Excavated maize seedling is showing crown roots beginning to grow from the base of the shoot (marked by red arrowhead). Credit: Jose Sebastian - https://images.sciencedaily.com/2016/07/160711155527_1_540x360.jpg
Excavated maize seedling is showing crown roots beginning to grow from the base of the shoot (marked by red arrowhead).
Credit: Jose Sebastian – https://images.sciencedaily.com/2016/07/160711155527_1_540x360.jpg

Source: Carnegie Institution for Science

Summary:

With a growing world population and a changing climate, understanding how agriculturally important plants respond to drought is crucial. A team has discovered a strategy employed by grasses in drought conditions that could potentially be harnessed to improve crop productivity.

Read the full story: Science Daily

Comparing pastures and results in land productivity and soil health

 

Photo credit: Science Daily

This image shows cattle grazing multi-species pasture mixtures.
Credit: Photo credit Steve LaMar.

More for less in pastures

Source: American Society of Agronomy

Summary:

Research comparing pastures with multiple types of plants to those with less variety shows surprising results in land productivity and soil health.

Read the full story: Science Daily

Water use efficiency of plants

 

 

How plants can be set to use water more efficiently

Source: Technical University of Munich (TUM)

160712110435_1_540x360
Pictured are thermograms of 40 day-old Arabidopis plants showing different growth and leaf temperatures indicated by false colors. Plants that combine low water consumption are indicated by green and yellow colors. Credit: Z. Yang und E. Grill/ TUM – https://images.sciencedaily.com/2016/07/160712110435_1_540x360.jpg

Summary:

Boosting food production with limited water availability is of great importance to humanity. Our current water usage is already unsustainable. The fact that plant leaves lose water through photosynthesis is the greatest limiting factor for better harvests. Scientists have developed an approach to solving this: they got plants to use water more efficiently without restricting their growth. This is thanks to a plant-inherent water-conservation strategy.

Read the full story: Science Daily