The size of the task

by Luigi Guarino on August 28, 2015

Not much better for crop wild relatives, I suspect. And this doesn’t even mention genetic diversity. And the clock is ticking.

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Potatoes in the Arctic

by Luigi Guarino on August 28, 2015


Wonderful to see indigenous leaders from the Parque de la Papa — joined by Alejandro Argumedo of Asociacion ANDES, the Director General of FAO, Graziano de Silva, and Marie Haga of the Global Crop Diversity Trust — deposit botanical seeds of their native potatoes, which they themselves produced with help from CIP, in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. A great example of collaboration and complementarity between on farm and ex situ conservation.



Banaue Rice Terraces get the drone treatment

by Luigi Guarino on August 26, 2015

Here is the panorama of the Banaue Rice Terraces from Chris's drone, 23 August 2015.

Posted by Gene Hettel on Tuesday, 25 August 2015

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Documenting improved variety adoption

20 August 2015

In my defence, I have visited the ASTI website before. Just not in a while, unfortunately. And I therefore missed a lot of developments. So thank you, Jeremy, for sending me there again earlier today. But let’s step back a bit. What is ASTI, anyway? Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) provides trusted open-source data […]

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Evaluating evaluation networks

17 August 2015

Mike Jackson, who ran the IRRI genebank 20 years ago, has some provocative things to say on his blog about the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER), which has just turned 40. Here is Mike’s main point: In my opinion, INGER could—and should—have been more. According to the riceTODAY article, INGER is today, […]

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Brainfood: Brassica rethink, Camel colours, Parsing the ITPGRFA, Static buffalo, Traits not taxa, Expert tyranny, Chinese pollinators, Heritage landscapes, Mining text, Diversity & nutrition

17 August 2015

Domestication of Brassica oleracea L. It happened in the balmy Mediterranean, not along those blustery Atlantic cliffs. Validating local knowledge on camels: Colour phenotypes and genetic variation of dromedaries in the Nigeria-Niger corridor. The locally recognized colour-based breeds are not supported by the genetics. The Battle over Plant Genetic Resources: Interpreting the International Treaty for […]

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Report on farming in Tanzania

13 August 2015

Vel Gnanendran heads the Tanzania office of DFID, the UK’s Department for International Development. He recently decided to find out as much as he could about agriculture in Tanzania, and his report is an interesting read. Here’s part of his conclusion: Farmers operate in a world of tremendous uncertainty. What will the world price of […]

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Preserving the canon of taste

12 August 2015

Fascinating article in Aeon magazine by Jill Neimark, exploring the role of specific, older varieties in the experience of taste. I won’t steal her thunder here, just urge you to read it. I will, however, cavil at one statement: All commercial apples, including Granny Smiths, have been hybridised to a sugary monotone. That’s simply not […]

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Patently broken?

10 August 2015

Patents are good for innovation, right? Well… In 1970 the United States recognised the potential of crop science by broadening the scope of patents in agriculture. Patents are supposed to reward inventiveness, so that should have galvanised progress. Yet, despite providing extra protection, that change and a further broadening of the regime in the 1980s […]

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