- Calabrians are growing citrons under solar panels to protect them from the heat.
- The Church of the Good Shepherd in Decatur, Alabama is growing seeds from the Cherokee Nation Seed Bank in its gardens, and that’s a sort of homecoming.
- The Indigenous agrobiodiversity and food systems of Meghalaya in India’s NE are helping local people cope with extreme climatic conditions.
- Elsewhere in India, there are community seed banks to help with resilience.
- And in New Zealand, the Volco Park Cultivar Preservation Orchard is helping academics teach about crop diversity.
- Meanwhile, only 3% of climate funding is going into food systems.
Nibbles: Transformation, MAHARISHI, Pastoralists and climate change, Utopian okra, Landrace breeding, Ghana genebank, Indian community seedbank, Rice pan-genome, Perennial rice
- Towards resilient and sustainable agri-food systems. Summary report from the FORSEE Series of Töpfer Müller Gaßner GmbH (TMG). Take home message: We need an internationally agreed framework for agri-food systems transformation that reduces the externalities of the current systems. But how?
- Chair Summary and Meeting Outcome of the G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists 2023. “We highlight the importance of locally adapted crops for the transition towards resilient agriculture and food systems, enhancing agricultural diversity, and improving food security and nutrition.” And that includes the wonderfully named Millets And OtHer Ancient GRains International ReSearcH Initiative (MAHARISHI). Ah, so that’s how.
- Are pastoralists and their livestock to blame for climate change? Spoiler alert: It’s complicated, but no. And here’s a digest of resources from the Land Portal explaining they can be part of sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.
- The Utopian Seed Project is developing more climate-resilient okra in the southern USA.
- Joseph Lofthouse, Julia Dakin, Shane Simonsen and Simon Gooder — interviewed here about landrace-based breeding — would approve of utopian okra.
- Plenty of landraces in the Ghana national genebank, according to this mainstream media article.
- Also plenty of landraces in India’s community seedbanks.
- Professor Zhang Jianwei at the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University has built an rice pan-genome database based on 16 (landraces presumably) accessions representing all the major sub-populations. The technical details are here. Rice sustainability and resilience no doubt beckons. Okra next?
- No, perennial rice next, apparently.
Showcasing potato diversity
Great to see the International Potato Centre (CIP)…
…and its genebank…
…highlighted in the Frietmuseum in Bruges.
And yes, those accessions are in Genesys.
Nibbles: Singapore genebank, Tianjin genebank, Food system transformation, ENCORE biodiversity tool, Italian olive troubles, Agroecology map, Indian millets
- Nice write-up of the Singapore Botanic Gardens Seed Bank, which opened back in 2019 to not much fanfare.
- The Tianjin Agricultural Germplasm Resources Bank has just opened, to much fanfare.
- The Global Alliance for the Future of Food has a report out on Beacons of Hope: Stories of Food Systems Transformation During COVID-19. All far downstream from genebanks, but crop diversity makes an appearance in the form of Rwanda’s Gardens for Health International, for example.
- The ENCORE tool, created by Natural Capital Finance Alliance and UNEP-WCMC, can help assess any potential risks to natural capital which may be caused by planned investments by financial institutions. Well, now there’s a biodiversity module. Where’s the agrobiodiversity module though?
- Speaking of natural capital, Italy’s olive harvest is threatened by more than that nasty Xylella disease.
- Is agroecology an answer to all the gloom and doom? I don’t know, but here’s a map of the experiences of people who think so.
- India definitely thinks millets are an answer.
How Native Americans got their horses
You know how you read in history textbooks that the Native Americans of the Great Plains got hold of horses from retreating Spanish colonists after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680? And you know how Native Americans have been saying that’s not what they think happened? That they in fact got their horses long before that? You know how rare it is that a scientific paper involving museum specimens and DNA includes Indigenous authors? And that said paper overturns a mainstream historical narrative and is then splashed all over the mainstream media? Very rare, that’s how rare.