Study: Stem Rust Disease Could Threaten Global Food Supply

Posted By: |

Stem Rust, Photo Credit: Wikimedia

A global team led by researchers from the University of Minnesota (U of M) warns in a new study that without increased financial support for disease resistance research, new strains of a devastating fungal disease could leave millions without affordable access to food.

The study, published in the current edition of the journal Science, examines how Ug99 – new virulent forms of stem rust first found in Uganda in 1999—could continue its movement across Africa, the Middle East and southwest Asia.  According to the team, the disease threatens food supplies for millions of people who depend on wheat and other small grains. Scientists have developed new wheat varieties with some resistance to the deadly disease, but the disease evolves and mutates into new forms, requiring new resistant varieties to be developed.

According to the U of M press release, several projects to develop resistance to Ug99 are under way, including an international consortium known as the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, a $26 million, five-year effort funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. U of M economists estimate, though, that as much as $51 million a year is needed. That number was reached by estimating the economic losses that would likely have occurred without the 20th century research that kept earlier variations of the disease at bay.

“Failing to increase and sustain investments in rust-resistance research is tantamount to accepting an increase in the risk of yield losses on one of the world’s food staples,” said Phil Pardey, leader of the research team and a professor of applied economics at U of M. “Spending on stem rust research has been inadequate for some time, and increased research investment must be sustained over the long haul if science is to keep on top of these ever-evolving crop diseases.”

Collaborators on the new study are from the University of Minnesota’s Stakman-Borlaug Cereal Rust Center; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra, Australia; the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico; and universities in South Africa and Australia.

For more information to the study, go to http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2013/UR_CONTENT_439411.html.

Africa

FCI Sourcing Network
Adjuvants

FCI Launches FCIsourcing.com

No one links buyers and sellers like FCI. Over the years, our magazine has been the preferred advertising vehicle for

Africa

Enigma Marketing Research Acquires Patent Database

SPCs extend the life of a patent for up to a maximum of five years and are granted in Europe on a national basis.

Africa

Arysta LifeScience Adds Banzai to Improve Cocoa Yields

Arysta LifeScience will launch Banzai, a new product based on Plant Impact technology that improves cocoa yields under stressful growing

Africa

DuPont Pioneer Opens Seed Warehouse, Office in Zambia

Aim is to increase maize storage capacity and meet farmer demand for both local and export markets to Kenya, Tanzania and other markets in Africa.

Africa

Candel Launches Agchem Plant in Nigeria

Plant set to save Nigeria $400 million in foreign exchange spent annually to import crop protection products.

Adjuvants

5 Issues Changing the Crop Protection Industry

Demands on the agricultural sector are increasing.

Flag of Algeria
Africa

Algeria’s Reforms to Lift Agchem Market

Country has launched major changes in land management and investment in agricultural sector, raising hopes of increased use of quality farm inputs.

Africa

Dow AgroSciences Targets New Markets

With crop protection markets flat in many parts of the world, Dow AgroSciences is readying new technology that will target

Africa

How Africa’s Farms Are Recovering from Ebola

After thousands fled their farms and loan programs collapsed in the wake of Ebola, international and local organizations are working to help bring them back.

Africa

To Bring Green Revolution to Africa, Countries Must Develop New Technologies

“Assuming Africa is an appropriate setting for another Asian-style Green Revolution is misleading and could result in, yet again, a frustrated attempt to attain sustainable agricultural growth." --IFPRI

Africa

FAO’s Da Silva: Agriculture Must Change

FAO Director-General speaks at International Forum on Agriculture and Climate Change

Dow AgroSciences
Africa

Dow AgroSciences Announces New Structure in Europe, Middle East, Africa

Company to launch six new molecules in next three to five years.

Zakłady Chemiczne Police
Africa

Zaklady Chemiczne Police to Build Phosphoric Acid Plant in Senegal

The new plant is the next step in ZChP's plan to move to full fertilizer production in Senegal and set up a fertilizer distribution center for West Africa.

Africa

IFA and the AFAP Agree to Improve Fertilizer Markets in Africa

Agreement looks to increase fertilizer use to 50 kg per hectare across Africa.

Africa

Empowering Africa’s Farmers and Agrodealers Through Capacity Building

Training agrochemical users and suppliers in Africa on proper use of farm inputs is critical to ensuring increased production of high-quality crops and safeguarding the health and safety of consumers and the environment.

Africa

Mozambique Offers Enormous Opportunity for New Technologies

As Mozambique's agricultural market continues to grow, the country offers crop input companies enormous opportunity.

Africa

Anti-Desertification Effort To Create More Demand For Crop Inputs in Africa

The €41 million effort should help end hunger, foster stability and adapt to climate change.

Africa

Ebola Affected Countries Could Face ‘Wave of Food Crises’ – IFAD

At World Food Prize, UN agency IFAD calls for "rapid collective response" to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Africa

Turning Talk into Action: Villa Academy Educates on Crop Protection Best Practices

The only institute of higher learning for crop protection takes lead on attracting and training the industry’s new generation.

Latest News

Americas

Bayer CropScience: Herbicides, Seeds Help Offset Weak Latin American Results

Sales in the Latin America/Africa/Middle East region declined 8.8%.

Americas

FMC to Build New European Regional Headquarters in Denmark

The new FMC European Innovation Center (EIC), expected to open in 2016, will serve as a central hub for research and development, regional corporate functions and regional commercial teams.

Americas

Syngenta Announces New Corn Herbicide

Acuron Flexi will combine three active ingredients, including bicyclopyrone, and two complementary modes of action to deliver a multi-targeted approach to weed control

Americas

U.S. Retail Crop Protection Sales Hit $9.3 Billion in 2014

According to the 2014 CropLife 100 survey, the crop protection products category followed up on its 8% gain (in terms of retailer revenue) in 2013 with another 9% boost during 2014.

Crop Protection

Infographic: FCI Sourcing Network — By The Numbers

The newly launched FCI Sourcing Network is a directory of sellers of crop protection products, including raw materials, technical-grade products and