SoilMate’s Weekly News Digest #25
Greetings to our Readers, and welcome back to our news digest! We have prepared something interesting for you today!
Countries came together to transform the world food systems at the UN Summit.
Governments around the world said that they formed coalitions to change the way the world produces and consumes food, with technology and innovation playing a crucial role. These coalitions are expected to seek progress in each category, including helping countries implement local solutions to create more equitable, healthy, green, and resilient food systems.
The coalitions include:
- “Action for Nutrition and Zero Hunger” (Nigeria, Pakistan)
- “Agroecology, Sustainable Livestock and Agricultural Systems” (Senegal, Switzerland)
- “Aquatic and Blue Foods” (Iceland, Palau)
- “Food Loss and Waste” (US)
- “Living Incomes and Decent Work” (Antigua and Barbuda)
- “Resilience” (Bangladesh)
- “School Meals” including homegrown (France, Kenya)
RNA manipulation can lead to an increase in harvest up to 50 percent.
A group of scientists from the University of Chicago, the University of Beijing, and the University of Guizhou stated that, in initial field trials, adding a protein-coding gene called FTO to rice and potato plants increased their yields by 50 percent. The plants grew larger, had a longer root system, and were better able to bear the stress of drought. Analysis has also shown that plants have increased the rate of photosynthesis. Researchers hope to exploit the full potential of this breakthrough, especially in the face of climate change and other pressures on food systems worldwide.
Research: adapting roots to warmer conditions can reduce the pressure on food supplies.
Until recently, growers did not have a good way to collect information on the root system of plants or to decide on optimal seeds for growing deep roots. In an article published this month in the journal Plant Physiology, Alexander Baksh, Assistant Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Georgia, and his colleagues present DIRT / 3D (digital image of root traits), an image-based 3D root phenotyping platform that measures 18 architecture traits from mature field-grown maize root crowns excavated. “This technology will make it easier to analyze and understand what roots are doing in real field environments, and therefore makes it easier to breed future crops to meet human needs,” said Jonathan Lynch, Distinguished Professor of Plant Science.
Can food systems reach “net zero”?
More than 120 countries — from highly developed countries to developing countries aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below that level that can be captured naturally or through new technologies. The advantage is that solutions to reduce emissions from food already exist, ranging from soil-friendly farming methods to alternative proteins with low methane content and supply chains based on renewable energy sources.
New ideas are also proposed — from closed systems that process food waste to reducing nitrous oxide emissions.
Proponents say that there is a need to focus on practices such as agroecology and regenerative agriculture that are based on soil care and avoiding the use of synthetic, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.