Brainfood: Cryo at CIP, Cryo everywhere, Citrus conservation, Seed storage, Pollen double

Want to generate a 33x return on investment?

Using an 8% discount rate, the net present value of the costs of… [X] …is estimated at $61 billion for the next 35 years, while the net present benefits in terms of net economic surplus (the sum of consumer and producer surplus) are estimated at $2.1 trillion.

Wow, that’s a pretty good deal, what could X possibly be? Oh lookie here, turns out X is agricultural R&D. According to a report by assorted boffins from the Copenhagen Consensus Center and IFPRI, that is.

Bjorn Lomborg of said CCC has a dcent go at summarizing the report in a recent op-ed, though the framing as Green Revolution 2.0 seems a little tired to me.

Research published this week by Copenhagen Consensus demonstrates that the world will only need to spend a small amount more each year to generate vast benefits. It estimates the additional cost of R&D this decade is about $5.5 billion annually—a relatively small sum, less even than Americans spend on ice cream every year.

This investment will generate better seeds and high-yield crops that can also better handle weather changes like those we will see from climate change. Creating bigger and more resilient harvests will benefit farmers and producing more food will help consumers with lower prices.

The report doesn’t go into exactly what the $61 billion ought to be spent on, but I hope genebanks turn out to be on the list.

Brainfood: Why measure genetic diversity?

Brainfood: NbS, Intercropping, Sparing, Mixtures, Intensification, Shifting cultivation, Mexican wild foods, Chinese NUS, Andean crops, South African indigenous foods, Uganda community seedbanks

From theory to practice in genebank operations

Do you find the Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture a little, shall we say, hard to digest? Not to worry, there are now handy practical guides for the application of the Genebank Standards. Which will hopefully make them a little easier to use.

The action steps of the genebank workflow are presented in a sequential manner and provide guidance on the complex steps and decisions required when operating a seed genebank, field genebank, or an in vitro genebank. The accompanying summary charts for the respective action steps underscore the intended use of each practical guide as a handbook for routine genebank operations.

Let us know in the comments what you think.