Nibbles: Forest seed collecting, Colombian maize, Türkiye & China genebanks, Community seedbank trifecta, Wheat breeding, Rice breeding, Bean INCREASE, WorldVeg regen, UK apples, Rangeland management

  1. How to collect forestry seeds.
  2. Whole bunch of new maize races collected in Colombia.
  3. The Türkiye national genebank in the news. Lots of collecting there. Though maybe not as much as in this genebank in China.
  4. But small communities need genebanks too. Here’s an example from Ghana. And another from India. And a final one from the Solomon Islands.
  5. Need to use the stuff in genebanks though. Here’s how they do it in the UK. And in Bangladesh. And in Europe with the INCREASE project, which has just won a prize for citizen science. And in Taiwan. Sort of citizen science too.
  6. Collecting apples in the UK. Funny, the canonical lost-British-apple story appears on the BBC in the autumn usually. Kinda citizen science.
  7. Or we could do in situ conservation, as in this South African example… Just kidding, we all know it’s not either/or. Right? Probably a good idea to collect seeds is what I’m saying. Could even do it through citizen science.

Brainfood: UK NUS, German labelling, Indian diversity, Ghana fonio, Kenya veggies, Rwanda biofortified beans, Cassava WTP, Urochloa resources, Perennial flax

Brainfood: Biodiversity nexus, Nutrition interventions, European land suitability, Beyond yield, Cover crops, CWR breeding, Rice gaps, Banana info system

Forgotten crops in the limelight

The paper “Forgotten food crops in sub-Saharan Africa for healthy diets in a changing climate” by Maarten van Zonneveld, Roeland Kindt, Stepha McMullin, Enoch G. Achigan-Dako, Sognigbé N’Danikou, Wei-hsun Hsieh, Yann-rong Lin, and Ian K. Dawson has won the PNAS 2023 Cozzarelli Prize for the best paper of the year in Applied Biological, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Here’s the abstract:

As the climate changes, major staple crop production in sub-Saharan Africa becomes increasingly vulnerable. Underutilized traditional food plants offer opportunities for diversifying cropping systems. In this study, the authors used climate niche modeling to assess the potential of 138 traditional food plants to diversify or replace staple crop production in sub-Saharan Africa by 2070. The authors report that staple crops may no longer be able to grow at approximately 10% of locations by 2070. Further, the authors identified 58 traditional crops that provide complementary micronutrient contents suitable for integration into staple cropping systems under current and projected climatic conditions. The results suggest that diversifying sub-Saharan African food production with underutilized crops could improve climate resilience and dietary health.

And here’s a video explaining the results: