African farms getting hotter, need to start looking across borders for adapted seeds

Sounds like a great project for the Gates Foundation: African farmers are about to face growing seasons hotter than any in their experience. They can look to other regions that already have those hotter climates for ideas of how and what to grow: "A few lucky countries, such as Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa, have diverse enough climates today that they can find climates analogous to the potential conditions of 2050 within their own borders today…[but] Sahelian countries such as Chad, Mali and Niger may have nowhere to turn." Unfortunately, researchers have found that plant breeders have done very little collecting of locally adapted varieties from the most likely analog countries, such as Cameroon, Sudan and Nigeria. To cope with the coming changes, genetic prospectors must sample much more of the genetic diversity of crops in these countries – and those nations must then do a better job of sharing these genetic resources. (New Scientist)

Comments are closed.