Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Egyptian invention cuts rice irrigation water by half

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[Cairo] Experts and stakeholders in Egypt warn of imminent water poverty as a result of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is about to become operational. Meanwhile, agricultural production consumes about 85 per cent of the country’s water resources, half of which goes towards rice irrigation. Rice cultivation consumes more than 10 billion cubic meters of water annually, or more than one-sixth of Egypt's share of Nile water, Khaled Ghanem, professor of Organic Farming in Al-Azhar University, told SciDev. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Course grains better than rice for health, environment

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[NEW DELHI] Shifting away from white, polished rice to a diet that includes more wheat and coarse grains can improve how Indians deal with micronutrient deficiencies, and reduce greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions associated with paddy cultivation, says a new study. Published in the March edition of the journal Global Environmental Change, the study’s findings are described by Narasimha Rao, the paper’s author and project leader of ‘Decent Energy Living’ at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, as the result of a “hypothetical (ideal case) scenario analysis”. India grows a variety of coarse grains — including sorghum, pearl millet, maize, barley, and finger millet — as well as many ‘small millets’ such as kodo millet, little millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, and barnyard millet. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Genomic models predict shorter time for banana breeding

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[NAIROBI] Scientists have shown through genomic prediction models that it is possible to speed up banana breeding, giving hope to breeders and smallholders looking for improved varieties.   Banana is an important staple crop for millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially those in East Africa.   In a study published in The Plant Genome last month (2 March), researchers collected data on 15 key traits from 307 banana types that were grown in two fields in Uganda under low and high input field management conditions. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Kenyan innovation takes plastic bags out of forestry

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Plastic bags are known for their environmental impact. They slowly release toxic chemicals once in the soil, for instance, and find their way into the guts of animals that often choke and die as a result. Kenya banned the use of plastic bags in 2017. Continue reading..