A brown revolution in Rwanda

Posted: March 1, 2015

Al Jazeera Science featured roots research in the article "Philanthropist Howard Buffett backs brown revolution in Africa" by Tim Gaynor, published on Feb 1, 2015.


Partnering with researchers at Penn State and Purdue universities, the foundation hopes to find the most efficient forms of irrigation, comparing yield results from pivot systems (which douse precious water in an arc across fields) and drip irrigation from buried lines and to develop, through conventional breeding, drought-resistant crop varieties that are able to produce higher yields from poorer soils.

“The site in Arizona is useful for us because it is a high desert environment, where we can reproduce heat and drought as stresses,” Jonathan Lynch, a professor of plant nutrition at Penn State, said of the program in Willcox. “Once we have a plant that’s drought tolerant here, it’s likely that those same mechanisms are going to give us drought tolerance in Rwanda or anywhere else.”

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