'Doyenne of SA herb industry' Margaret Roberts passes away

2017-03-04 18:57

Herbal specialist Margaret Roberts has passed away, her daughter confirmed on a social media post.

DNA rice breakthrough raises 'green revolution' hopes

2016-02-15 08:30

Rice-growing techniques learned through thousands of years of trial and error are about to be turbocharged with DNA technology in a breakthrough hailed by scientists as a potential second "green revolution".

Central America tests drought-resistant 'miracle' beans

2015-12-01 07:55

'These beans are miraculous because they beat droughts,' crowed Manuel Ceren, a farmer in El Salvador trying out a hybrid, climate change-defying crop produced by Salvadoran, Colombian and Honduran experts.

Urban foraging on Cape Town's promenade

2015-10-01 09:50

We go on an urban foraging adventure and find out why it's the new trend.

African nations aim to brake surging trade in illegal timber

2015-09-09 14:00

Forest protection agencies in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Madagascar will step up joint efforts to combat the rapidly expanding trade in illegal timber under a new deal.

Eradication spells misery for Peru's coca farmers

2015-08-17 10:40

Edma Duran uses a machete to salvage the leaves she can from the family's coca plot, which government workers have just destroyed in an record-breaking US-backed eradication campaign that has affected roughly a half million Peruvians.

Morocco's majestic cedars threatened by climate change

2015-05-26 08:23

The cedar tree, considered by many to be Morocco's national treasure, is coming under attack from climate change, greedy humans who indulge in illegal logging, and monkeys.

Afghan poppy farmers say new seeds will boost opium output

2015-05-05 10:56

It's the cash crop of the Taliban and the scourge of Afghanistan, the country's intractable opium cultivation. This year, many Afghan poppy farmers are expecting a windfall as they get ready to harvest opium from a new variety of poppy seeds.

Pesticides may reduce the quality of your semen

2015-04-01 13:41

Higher levels of pesticide residue in fruit and vegetables are associated with lower quality of semen, according to a new study.

Herb derivative could work against Ebola

2015-02-27 10:25

A small molecule derived from an Asian herb may help stop Ebola infection by preventing the virus from entering the cells of the body, researchers say.


Weather wreaks havoc on French truffles

2016-02-25 22:44

The key Tricastin market for black truffles in southeastern France is closing two weeks early because of 'catastrophic' underproduction blamed on a hot summer and a mild winter.

Coconut trees are no longer considered trees in Indian state

2016-01-20 11:21

Coconut trees are no longer considered trees in the tropical Indian state of Goa, where authorities have reclassified them in order to allow farmers to more easily cut them down.

Giant pumpkin tips from expert

2015-10-22 19:48

The record-breaking giant pumpkin grower, Ron Wallace, says there's no easy way to succeed, because to get a really big pumpkin, one needs to work really hard.

Plant enthusiasts spoilt for choice at Garden Show

2015-09-28 09:35

The Royal Showgrounds were abuzz with plant enthusiasts enjoying the final day of the popular Garden Show yesterday.

5 facts about what's possibly the world's first flower

2015-08-19 09:17

The ancient aquatic plant, called the Montsechia vidalii, has overtaken the Archaefructus sinensis, an aquatic plant found in China, as one of the possible first flowers on the planet.

As seas rise, saltwater plants offer hope farms will survive

2015-08-17 09:10

On a scorched wasteland near India's southern tip, an unlikely garden is growing, seemingly against all odds. The plants are living on saltwater, coping with drought and offering viable farming alternatives for the future.

Gene breakthrough sparks 'home-brewed morphine' fears

2015-05-19 10:34

Scientists say they had unlocked a pathway for producing opiates from genetically-engineered yeast but feared the discovery could one day be a bonanza for drug lords.

Dutch saltwater potatoes offer hope for world's hungry

2015-04-29 09:17

A small field on an island off the Netherlands' northern coast promises one answer to the problem of how to feed the world's ever-growing population: potatoes and other crops that grow in saltwater.

Next-generation GMOs: Pink pineapples and purple tomatoes

2015-04-01 10:02

Cancer-fighting pink pineapples, heart-healthy purple tomatoes and less fatty vegetable oils may someday be on grocery shelves alongside more traditional products.

Toxic 'Tet' kumquats highlight Vietnam's pesticide problem

2015-02-19 08:53

At Lunar New Year, most Vietnamese families buy a kumquat tree, a symbol of prosperity, but where once its fruits were candied and enjoyed as a delicacy, now they are left uneaten as food safety scandals batter consumer confidence.

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