- Epic narratives of the Green Revolution in Brazil, China, and India. Symbols, heroes, heritage-making and we-will-do-it-even-better-next-time in the service of self-preservation and self-assertion. But, as we shall see below, not everything needs to be an epic success to be interesting, and useful.
- Using landscape genomics to infer genomic regions involved in environmental adaptation of soybean genebank accessions. Analysis of USDA collection shows that many haplotypes associated with high-latitude cold tolerance in China are still absent from modern American and European cultivars.
- Phenotypic evolution of the wild progenitor of cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare L. subsp. spontaneum (K. Koch) Thell.) across bioclimatic regions in Jordan. Re-collecting after 23 years shows some loss of phenotypic diversity.
- Decades of Cultivar Development: A Reconciliation of Maize and Bean Breeding Projects and Their Impacts on Food, Nutrition Security, and Income of Smallholder Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Much done, much remains to be done.
- Genetic Trends Estimation in IRRIs Rice Drought Breeding Program and Identification of High Yielding Drought-Tolerant Lines. Progress, but not fast enough.
- A new method to reconstruct the direction of parent-offspring duo relationships using SNP array data and its demonstration on ancient and modern cultivars in the outcrossing species Malus × domestica. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which variety is the parent and which the offspring.
- What are the links between tree-based farming and dietary quality for rural households? A review of emerging evidence in low- and middle-income countries. Meta-analysis shows that trees can help with diets, but it depends on a lot of things.
- Genebanks and market participation: evidence from groundnut farmers in Malawi. Improved peanut varieties derived from genebank accessions encourage market participation by farmers through expanding the area under cultivation, but not the amount sold.
- IITA’s genebank, cowpea diversity on farms, and farmers’ welfare in Nigeria. Improved varieties derived from genebank accessions don’t push out landrace diversity and are associated with higher yields and other benefits to farmers.
- The role of CGIAR Germplasm Health Units in averting endemic crop diseases: the example of rice blast in Bangladesh. The IRRI Germplasm Health Unit contributed about 2% to the benefits of the rice blast resistance breeding programme, but that’s a cost:benefit ratio of 112.
- Policy directions in public agricultural research: CGIAR’s public goods mandate and plant genetic resources. There has been too much focus on the “global” bit of “global public goods,” and opportunities have thus apparently been missed. The three papers above would like a word though.
- Landscape complexity and functional groups moderate the effect of diversified farming on biodiversity: A global meta-analysis. Diverse farming systems are better for both agricultural production and biodiversity.
- Breeding future crops to feed the world through de novo domestication. Ah yes, we will do it better this time.