Based on our projections, the world will need only 25 percent to 70 percent more crop output in 2050 than was produced in 2014. This includes grain used to feed livestock and, to some extent, grain used for ethanol production.
The Secretariat of the International Treaty is pleased to invite Contracting Parties and Stakeholders to provide comments for the update of the Guidelines for the optimal use of Digital Object Identifiers as permanent unique identifiers for germplasm samples – v.2
The spread of agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa has long been attributed to the large-scale migration of Bantu-speaking groups out of their west Central African homeland from about 4000 years ago. These groups are seen as having expanded rapidly across the sub-continent, carrying an ‘Iron Age’ package of farming, metal-working, and pottery, and largely replacing pre-existing hunter-gatherers along the way. While elements of the ‘traditional’ Bantu model have been deconstructed in recent years, one of the main constraints on developing a more nuanced understanding of the local processes involved in the spread of farming has been the lack of detailed archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological sequences, particularly from key regions such as eastern Africa. Situated at a crossroads between continental Africa and the Indian Ocean, eastern Africa was not only a major corridor on one of the proposed Bantu routes to southern Africa, but also the recipient of several migrations of pastoral groups from the north. In addition, eastern Africa saw the introduction of a range of domesticates from India, Southeast Asia, and other areas of the Indian Ocean sphere through long-distance maritime connections. The possibility that some Asian crops, such as the vegecultural ‘tropical trio’ (banana, taro, and yam), arrived before the Bantu expansion has in particular raised many questions about the role of eastern Africa's nonagricultural communities in the adoption and subsequent diffusion of crops across the continent. Drawing on new botanical and faunal evidence from recent excavations at a range of hunter-gatherer and early farming sites on eastern Africa's coast and offshore islands, and with comparison to inland sites, this paper will examine the timing and tempo of the agricultural transition, the nature of forager-farmerpastoralist interactions, and the varying roles that elements of the ‘Bantu package’, pastoralism, and nonAfrican domesticates played in local economies. This paper highlights the complex pathways and transitions that unfolded, as well as how eastern Africa links into a broader global picture of heterogeneous, dynamic, and extended transformations from forager to farmer that challenge our fundamental understanding of pre-modern Holocene societies
In Europe, agriculture is highly dependent on imported soybean from South America. Potential alternative sources are protein from peas (Pisum sativum L.) or more local sources like other grain legumes or rapeseed meal (Brassica napus L. subsp. oliefera [sic]). These
Last week company, country and investor representatives gathered to consult on the Agrobiodiversity Index – a tool to measure and manage agrobiodiversity across four dimensions: nutrition, production, seed systems and conservation.
“Much to our surprise, despite the soil’s high salinity, two of the 75 potato breeds we had brought in were able to produce tubers in this soil. It was inspiring news to all of us,” Dr. Valdivia-Silva said. That would
On this fine day, meet Dr Janaki Ammal… By manipulating polyploid cells through cross-breeding of hybrids in the laboratory, Janaki was able to create a high yielding strain of the sugarcane that would thrive in Indian conditions. Her research also
Women traditionally play a central role in any indigenous communities. NESFAS highlights the role of women as custodians of our agrobiodiversity and foodways. Today, March 8th marks the 106th anniversary of Women’s Day across the globe and for the indigenous … Continue reading →
Out of the more than 300,000 plant species in existence, only three species -- rice, wheat, and maize -- account for most of the plant matter that humans consume, partly because in the history of agriculture, mutations arose that made these crops the easiest to harvest. But with CRISPR technology, we don't have to wait for nature to help us domesticate plants...
Gene editing could make, for example, wild legumes, quinoa, or amaranth, which are already sustainable and nutritious, more farmable. "In theory, you can now take those traits that have been selected for over thousands of years of crop domestication -- such as reduced bitterness and those that facilitate easy harvest -- and induce those mutations in plants that have never been cultivated"...
The approach has already been successful in accelerating domestication of undervalued crops using less precise gene-editing methods. For example, researchers used chemical mutagenesis to induce random mutations in weeping rice grass... to make it more likely to hold onto its seeds after ripening. And in wild field cress... scientists silenced genes with RNA interference involved with fatty acid synthesis, resulting in improved seed oil quality.
"All of the plants we eat today are mutants, but the crops we have now were selected for over thousands of years, and their mutations arose by chance... With gene editing, we can create 'biologically inspired organisms' in that we don't want to improve nature, we want to benefit from what nature has already created."
This strategy also has potential to address problems related to pesticide use and the impact of large-scale agriculture on the environment. For example, runoff from excess nitrogen in fertilizers is a common pollutant; however, wild legumes, through symbiosis with bacteria, can turn nitrogen available in the atmosphere into their own fertilizer. "Why not try to domesticate more of these plants?" ...
Congratulations to the Italian company Sa Laurera for receiving the 2016 Arca Deli Award for its Sardinian grasspea variety Inchixa. In 2016, the SAVE Foundation announced the Arca Deli Award which is dedicated to products derived from the cultivation of
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