GCP Blog Connect with us GCP on Facebook Follow GCP on Twitter GCP on LinkedIn Subscribe to GCP Newsletter Subscribe to our RSS feeds

Plant breeding: Discovery in a dry spell


Nature-rice-IRRI-web-240"Improved crops have helped farmers maintain yields in times of drought. But as climate change looms, will the gains keep coming?

Building local capacity for research and development (R&D) can also help accelerate progress. But this is heavily dependent on local governments and private-sector investment, so progress varies from crop to crop, and region to region. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been a powerful force in this regard, expanding local access to drought-tolerant crop varieties and building regional expertise.

Two such projects are the Generation Challenge Programme, an initiative from CGIAR (the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) that aims to strengthen agricultural R&D in the developing world, and the Water-Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, a public–private partnership that unites agricultural researchers in Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa with international experts in the public and private sectors."

Nature, 25 September 2013