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Major international push to maximize bioscience research to help world's poorest farmers
Date:11/20/2012

  • Sequencing historical DNA to tackle wheat's worst enemy
  • Unlocking ancient rice secrets to overcome rainfall extremes
  • Leaving a bad taste in aphids' mouths
  • Reducing crop losses with cereals that respond to pest attack
  • Exploiting wild wheat to produce better Indian varieties

Over 40 international research organisations are joining forces in a unique 16M initiative that will harness bioscience to improve food security in developing countries.

Funding has been awarded to 11 new research projects, announced today, which will develop ways to improve the sustainability of vital food crops in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The projects aim to develop staple crops better able to resist pests or thrive in harsh environmental conditions.

Food security is a major issue with over one billion people across the world already undernourished and the global population forecast to reach nine billion by 2050. These new research projects are expected to increase sustainable crop yields for farmers and their local communities within the next 5 to 10 years and the knowledge and skills developed as part of these projects will be beneficial for crop production globally.

The grants have been awarded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) under the Sustainable Crop Production Research for International Development (SCPRID) programme, a joint multi-national initiative of BBSRC and the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID), together with (through a grant awarded to BBSRC) the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of India's Ministry of Science and Technology.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "One billion people currently go to bed hungry every night. By 2050 there will be another two billion mouths to feed. And experts predict the world will need to be able to grow 70 per cent more food.

"The UK's world class bioscience sector is de
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Contact: Tracey Jewitt
tracey.jewitt@bbsrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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