Three nations- India, the United States and Australia have come together to collaborate on developing new climate-resilient varieties of rice and wheat, two of the “big three” primary crops essential to feed the world.
The key agencies/organizations which are part of this effort are the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is backing a new public-private research partnership b/w the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) and India’s Vibha Agrotech.
How it will be done?
The effort will put to use the unique specialties of ACPFG (gene technologies and expertise in cereal stress tolerance) and Vibha Agrotech’s field evaluation and rice transformation capabilities to develop new rice and wheat varieties with greater tolerance to drought and salinity, allowing farmers more stable production in the event of sudden drought and evolving salt water intrusion.
The new lines will be evaluated under representative field conditions and the most successful will be transferred into the varieties that farmers grow.
Initially, the work will begin in Australia and India, but the technologies will be made available to developing countries in South Asia and globally where climate stresses impact cereal yields, so that farmers can be more confident that they will have a good harvest, even as climate change creates more unpredictable growing environments.
What are Big Three Crops?
Big Three crops are:
Why this endeavor?
As the climate is changing it has become imperative to develop varieties of key crops which can sustain this change as well as provide high yield in the event of adverse climatic conditions like drought and salinity. With expanding population and reduction in the availability of land for agricultural purpose there will be the necessity to introduce such crops to mitigate global hunger and address food security.