Norway invests in diversity

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Concerns are increasing that climate change is starting to challenge the production of global staples such as rice white the world's population continues to rise.

PHOTO: Brad Collis

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced a US$23.7 million (A$27.1 million) investment by Norway to conserve and manage the world’s major food crops. The FAO cited the critical need for crop diversity as populations are soaring and climate change is challenging staples such as rice and maize.

Marie Haga, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, said the Trust would be the main agency distributing the funds.

“In just 10 years we will have a billion more people at the global dinner table, but a one degree increase in temperature during that same time could see rice production fall by 10 per cent,” Ms Haga said. “Our best hedge against disaster is to ensure we have a wide array of food crops at our disposal.”

The announcement was made at the meeting of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The treaty allows participating nations to share food crop varieties among growers and plant breeders in non-exploitative ways and to invest in preserving crop biodiversity.

The Norwegian investment adds to contributions from Italy, the European Union, and the US. Treaty secretary Dr Shakeel Bhatti said treaty-supported projects are helping food growers use crop diversity to adapt to the effects of climate change.


More information:

Food and Agriculture Organization,


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