Wild plants offer a lifeline as staple crops fail to cope with climate change
Scientists say many of the wild cousins of the crops that feed the world may offer us a lifeline as the world grapples with the combined challenges of climate change and sustainably feeding an increasing population.
The combination of climate change and an increasing population throws up challenges when it comes to sustainably feeding the world.
But scientists say the solution may lie in the wild relatives of the farmed crops we currently rely on.
They're the hardier cousins that have evolved to survive harsh conditions, such as low rainfall, flooding, temperature extremes and poor soils.
The outgoing executive director of the Crop Trust, Marie Haga.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MARIE HAGA, THE CROP TRUST SAYING: "If a wild wheat plant has survived on top of a mountain top for 10,000 years we are awfully eager to find it, and why?
Well, because if it's survived up there on the mountain top for 10,000 years it's likely that it doesn't need much water and one of the traits that we now need to breed for is plants that produce food with less water." A report published on Tuesday (December 3) details the results of a major global effort to prepare agricultural crops for climate change.
Teams of collectors spent nearly 3,000 days in often remote and even dangerous locations collecting the seeds of 5,000 relatives of the crops that we eat.... offering a largely untapped source of genetic diversity and the potential to secure the future of our food sources.
But project manager Chris Cockel says seed collecting is not an easy process.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS COCKEL, MILLENNIUM SEED BANK, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS KEW SAYING: "You have to go out at the right time with all the right equipment and you need to get there when the plants are dispersing their seed at the natural time and our partners are going out into many cases these inhospitable areas, into jungles if you want to use that term, where they might be faced with the threat of tigers in Nepal for example, or the threat of security issues in Lebanon or in Pakistan for example.
And in many cases those areas are off limits even to our partners in the countries." According to a United Nations report, food supplies are under 'severe threat', because of the number of animal and plant species fast disappearing as the world grapples with how to feed a growing population.
Although about 6,000 plant species can be used for food, less than 200 varieties are widely eaten, and only nine make up most of the world's total crop production, leaving them susceptible to shocks like pests or disease, droughts and other extreme weather events due to climate change.
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Around 211 people returned to India on November 23 via Attari-Wagah Border as they were stranded in Pakistan due to the COVID-19 situation. The returnees united with their families after a long gap of around 8 months. Hina, a returnee said, "I went to Pakistan in March after my mother died there". The officials were seen deployed at the border for smooth process.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said that Pakistan's Karachi will be a part of India one day. The former Maharashtra CM's remark came while he was responding to Bandra sweet shop row. "We are believers of the concept of 'Akhand Bharat'. We believe that Karachi will be a part of India one day," Fad navis said. Recently, video of a Sena leader asking a sweet shop owner to change its name went viral. The incident had taken place at Karachi Sweets located in Mumbai's Bandra West. In the video, Nitin Nandgaokar could be heard asking the shop owner to drop the word 'Karachi'. The Sena leader also told the sweet shop owner that Karachi reminds one of Pakistan. Nandgaokar further insisted on changing the sweet shop's name to something 'Marathi'. Later, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had taken to Twitter and called the demand futile. Raut had clarified that changing the shop’s name was not the party's official stance. Karachi Sweets is an almost 60-year-old shop located in Mumbai's Bandra.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 02:11Published
Indian martial artist monk Prabhakar Reddy achieved Guinness World Record for 28th time in Nellore. He was able to open 68 caps of sealed bottles with head in one minute. Reddy beat Pakistan martial artist Muhammad Rashid Nassem's record.
The crucial meeting of the Central Secretariat of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) on November 18 ended in a stalemate. During the meeting, Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli demanded 10 days time to present a separate political document. PM Oli wanted to present a separate political document in response to his rival Pushpa Kamal Dahal's accusations that he was running the government without consulting the party. Oli told the members that he will present a separate political document in the next meeting for which he had sought 10 days time for the preparation. The next meeting of the Secretariat has been rescheduled for November 28.
Nepal on Monday celebrated the sibling festival of Bhai Tika with less fanfare and gaiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is increasing the toll in the Himalayan Nation. On the occasion of Bhai Tika, sisters throughout the nation offered tika to their brothers wishing them happiness, long life, and prosperity. Brothers, in return pledge, to protect their sisters from all kinds of adversities. Bhai Tika which is one of five days of Tihar or Diwali places brothers and sisters on centre furbishing and improving relations between them. On this day, brothers are seated at a specially anointed place, around which a trail of mustard oil and sacred water is drawn, which is meant to be the line which Yama - Lord of Death - is believed would not be able to cross. After securing brothers from Yama, sisters then offer brothers garlands of Marigold, Dubo, and Makhamali along with seven coloured Tika on the foreheads, which has its own significance. Along with brothers, sisters are treated with varieties of sweets, walnut, spices, and "Selroti" oil-cooked bread made of rice flour. Following the tradition, which is deep-rooted in Nepali society, those who do not have their own brothers and sisters receive Tika from others whom they regard as brothers and sisters. This year, brothers who do not have sisters thronged the Balgopaleshwor Temple in the middle of Rani Pokhari or the Queen's Pond and received tika there. Bhai Tika is generally marked on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha, which is believed to further strengthen the bond between brothers and sisters. This year, the festival has been marred due to COVID-19 pandemic.
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Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on November 21 called upon the world to come together to isolate nations that sponsor terrorism and impose sanctions against them. "No religion preaches terrorism. It's only wrong interpretation by some people. No country is safe from terrorism and it's high time for the United Nations to complete the deliberation of India's long pending proposal of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and is adopted. The world community should come together to not only isolate those sponsoring terrorism but also impose sanctions against them, this is the need of the hour. The days of gratitude are over, now it's time for concrete action," he said.
India on November 20 at the United Nations (UN) said that as peace process and violence cannot go together, therefore for durable peace in Afghanistan there must be "an end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries operating across the Durand Line". While speaking during Arria Formula Meeting at the UN on the theme "What can the Security Council do to support the peace process in Afghanistan", TS Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations urged the Security Council to speak "unequivocally against violence and terrorist forces" and act against the terrorist sanctuaries and safe-havens. He said, "Even as we meet today, fighting continues in Afghanistan in several areas across the country. Reports are coming in of civilians, including children and women, killed or injured in the violence. Terrorist attacks continue to target innocents and institutions of learning." "It is our view that peace process and violence cannot go hand in hand, and we call for immediate comprehensive ceasefire. For durable peace in Afghanistan, we have to put an end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries operating across the Durand Line. The report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team under the Al-Qaeda/Da'esh Sanctions Committee has also highlighted the presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan. For violence to end in Afghanistan, these terrorist supply chains must be broken," he added.