Minding the gaps: scientists hail major advance in adapting food crops to climate change

31 July, 2013 by (comments)

Global efforts to adapt staple foods like rice, wheat and potato to climate change have been given a major boost as new research reveals the details and whereabouts of their “wild relatives” – their undomesticated distant cousins that could contain secrets to making food crops more productive and resilient. Some of these wild and weedy species have evolved toRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Asia @en, Climate Change, Climate Change website, Crop diversity, Latin America and the Caribbean

“Game changing technologies” needed to fight cassava diseases

9 June, 2013 by (comments)

Alarming outbreaks of two devastating cassava diseases in Africa have prompted an alliance of experts to make an unprecedented international commitment to tackle them. Members of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) announced plans for the sweeping set of measures to impede the spread of the flesh-eating cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) and cassava mosaic diseaseRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Asia @en, Cassava @en, Crop diversity, Crops website, Latin America and the Caribbean

Efforts intensify to decode cassava “alphabet soup”

12 February, 2013 by (comments)

Imagine having to write a story, using a pile of several billion letters. First the letters have to be arranged into words, the words into sentences and paragraphs to produce a coherent, accurate chapter. There are 18,000 chapters in each book, and 5,000 books make the full story. The story is the complete genetic history of cassava. Making biologicalRead More …

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Filed Under: Cassava @en, Crop diversity, Crops @en, Crops website

Rice roadmap provides an alternative to the quest for “mega-varieties”

8 September, 2011 by (comments)

Boosting rice production to feed a rapidly growing world population requires an urgent, coordinated global effort, according to a group of leading rice scientists. The scientists set out a roadmap for improving the “yield potential” of rice – the plant’s genetic capability to produce grain – during a special meeting of The Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) at CIAT’sRead More …

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Filed Under: Crop diversity, Crops @en

CIAT’s genebank featured in The Seattle Times

8 August, 2011 by (comments)

Pest resistance. Climate change adaptation. Improved nutrition… If you still need to be convinced of the global importance of plant genetic conservation, take a look at a second article published today in The Seattle Times. It features CIAT’s Genetic Resources program leader Daniel Debouck, and makes a strong case for the role of conservation in helping farmers and cropRead More …

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Filed Under: Crops @en

International treaty to protect agrobiodiversity strengthens

18 March, 2011 by (comments)

Nearly two-thirds of the world has now committed to improving conservation and access to crop diversity in a united effort to confront the challenges of climate change and food insecurity, The Jakarta Post reports. The 127 signatories of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) gathered this week in Bali for the Fourth Session of theRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en, Crop diversity

Svalbard Global Seed Vault marks 3rd birthday

25 February, 2011 by (comments)

Congratulations to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which celebrates its third birthday today. The huge repository, buried in permafrost in the Norwegian archipeligo of Svalbard, serves as a back-up for more than 600,000 plant seed samples from genebanks around the world. CIAT’s fourth shipment of seeds recently arrived at the Vault, after a 10,000km journey from the genebank atRead More …

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Filed Under: Inside CIAT