More locust swarms to besiege East African harvest

The harvest in Kenya is likely to coincide with the arrival of a new generation of desert locusts to attack the crops, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Locusts also are swarming in Ethiopia and Somalia, said the FAO.

Greatest locust threat in decades in East Africa

Swarms of food-devouring desert locusts threaten food security for nearly 10 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, said the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group on Monday, describing the infestations as the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia and in 70 years in Kenya. The group, which focuses on central and eastern Africa, said the locust upsurge threatens the coming agricultural season.

World hunger up, afflicts 820 million people

One in nine of the earth's population is undernourished and the global hunger rate is creeping up from the low set in 2015, said five UN agencies in a report on Monday. Hunger is most prevalent in Africa, at nearly double the global level, but on every continent, women are more likely than men to go hungry.

Scanty rainfall a threat to food supply in eastern and southern Africa

High temperature and inadequate rainfall are adversely affecting crop development in southern Africa, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. They result may be poor yields and heavier than usual infestations of the fall armyworm, which spreads in dry weather. In a special alert, the FAO said small harvests are "foreseen to intensify food insecurity in 2018, increasing the number of people in need of assistance."

Startup formerly known as Hampton Creek takes aim at malnutrition in Africa

The food startup that began as Hampton Creek is now known as JUST, and its newest product is a nutrient-fortified cassava porridge named Power Gari that it says is the solution to malnutrition in western Africa, reports the Washington Post. "JUST believes that its product will increase Africans' intake of critical vitamins and minerals by including them in a product that tastes good and is sold at retail in slick branded bags, unlike the fortified foods currently offered by development organizations."

Winter wheat is potential cover crop for Plains cotton growers

A simulation by Texas A&M scientists indicates that winter wheat is a feasible cover crop for cotton growers in the arid Plains, says one of the researchers.

Famine likely soon in Yemen if food imports remain blocked

An estimated 80 percent of Yemen's food supply arrives by boat, so the recent closure of its ports makes famine a likelihood across the country, says the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. Meanwhile, the UN says that warfare and climate change are driving up hunger rates in sub-Saharan Africa.

Researchers find stem-rust resistant gene for wheat

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have discovered a gene that creates resistance to stem-rust — a fungus that threatens wheat crops in Africa and Asia and food security worldwide.

UN: A third of Earth’s land is damaged, largely from industrial agriculture

A third of the Earth’s land is severely degraded and 24 billion tons of fertile soil are disappearing each year, according to a new United Nations-backed study that puts the majority of the blame on intensive agriculture. “The Global Land Outlook is billed as the most comprehensive study of its type, mapping the interlinked impacts of urbanisation, climate change, erosion and forest loss," reports The Guardian.  "But the biggest factor is the expansion of industrial farming.”