Crop Biotech Update

ICRISAT: Science Innovation can help Overcome Soaring Food Prices

May 30, 2008
Scientific innovations in crop cultivation techniques can help poor farmers cope with soaring food prices, say experts from the India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). William D. Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, in a press release enumerated the innovations that have been found in lowering food prices. These include:
  • Use of improved crop varieties and hybrids that are more fertilizer efficient, and resistant to abiotic stresses;
  • Tree-crop integration, since trees can collect additional nutrients from the soil. In addition to preventing soil erosion, trees can also provide higher-value products;
  • Gravity-fed drip irrigation, wherein water is introduced to plants drop-by-drop through a plastic tube, providing just the amount the plant needs for optimal growth;
  • Integrated pest management;
  • And cultivating sweet sorghum as a biofuel crop and as a source of animal feedstock.

Other ways include planting-basin cultivation, fertilizer microdosing and improved seed systems. Dr. Dar warned that “unless agriculture is reinvigorated and lifted to a new level of proficiency and efficiency, the world will face more hunger, more poverty, more despair, and more anger”.

Read the press release at http://www.icrisat.org/Media/2008/media7.htm