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November 7th, 2018 / Food Tank

The Crop Trust is on a mission to improve biodiversity and protect farmers against climate change through their Crop Wild Relatives project.

Crop Trust joined with The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) in June on a five-day hunt for wild relatives of potatoes in Brazil. Having found two wild potato relatives in western Santa Catarina and northern Rio Grande do Sul, Crop Trust is excited about the prospects of locating a drought, heat, and blight-tolerant gene. As the fifth most important crop worldwide, the potato’s improvements have the potential to improve food security globally. Crop Trust is moving forward, launching into the potato’s next phase of pre-breeding: the stage during which researchers isolate genetic traits and introduce them into the breeding process.

Representatives from Spain, Côte d’Ivoire, and Sri Lanka met at the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan in July to investigate the potential of eggplant. Initial work focused on broadening genetic diversity, focusing on climate change resilience. At the meeting, representatives officially moved to the second phase of pre-breeding: evaluating the materials bred for climate change, their resilience, and their impact for smallholder farmers. Read more