“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
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.
Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
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.
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.
Crop roots enact austerity measures during drought to bank water
Grass strategy in drought conditions could be harnessed to improve crop productivity
Source: Carnegie Institution for Science
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.
How plants can be set to use water more efficiently
Source: Technical University of Munich (TUM)
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.