Genetic resources have "critical role in feeding the world"

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A crop of sorghum in Uruguay, funded by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic resources for Food and Agriculture. FAO@PHOTO

Genetic resources have a critical role to play in feeding the world, as climate change advances faster than expected, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Genetic resources are the raw materials upon which the world relies to improve the productivity and quality of crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries.

A new book released by FAO on Monday highlights how these raw materials are key to helping agriculture adapt to volatile weather and rising temperatures.

Organisms capable of surviving and producing in a changing climate will be needed, the book explains.

The ability of plants and animals raised by farmers to adapt when the environment changes is a direct result of their genetic diversity.

FAO is however warning that such an adaptive approach will require updating the goals of agricultural breeding programmes.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations.

Duration: 52″

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