Crop breeding must speed up to keep up with climate change

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Crop yields will fall within the next decade due to climate change unless immediate action is taken to speed up the introduction of new and improved varieties, experts have warned.

The research, led by the University of Leeds and published [June 20] in the journal Nature Climate Change, focusses on maize in Africa but the underlying processes affect crops across the tropics.

. . . .

It takes anywhere between 10 and 30 years to breed a new crop variety and have it adopted by farmers. The rate at which temperatures are increasing across the tropics means that by the time the crop is in the field it is being grown in warmer temperatures that it was developed in.

. . . .

Dr Andy Jarvis, from CIAT (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture), said: “Investment in agricultural research to develop and disseminate new seed technologies is one of the best investments we can make for climate adaptation. Climate funds could be used to help the world’s farmers stay several steps ahead of climate change, with major benefits for global food security.”

Read full, original post: Crop breeding is not keeping pace with climate change

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