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Thread: Big Idea: Fighting Hunger With Ancient Genetic Engineering Techniques

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Big Idea: Fighting Hunger With Ancient Genetic Engineering Techniques

    Daniel Grushkin
    May 29, 2012

    With GMOs facing political opposition in much of the world, more low-tech approaches are quietly making a big difference.


    in 1994 Howarth Bouis stood before potential donors at a conference in Maryland and unveiled his plan for combating malnutrition in the developing world. Bouis, an economist at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), envisioned impoverished farmers in Africa and South Asia growing staple crops that are enriched in key nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin A. His presentation had the audience hooked—until he said he would accomplish the feat via old-fashioned plant breeding techniques.
    At that point Bouis might as well have been lecturing on plows and sickles. Conference attendees wanted to solve the hunger problem with high-tech science, the kind of advances that produced incredibly effective fertilizers and pesticides during the green revolution of the 1970s. Their attention had just turned to genetically modified crops, engineered with specific genes that would not only enhance nutrition, as Bouis proposed, but also boost yields and instill resistance to pests and weed killers. Bouis came away with a single 
$1 million grant—a fraction of the money needed to reach his goals.

    http://discovermagazine.com/2012/may...o-fight-hunger
    Last edited by Islander; 06-04-12 at 08:23 PM.

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Big Idea: Fighting Hunger With Ancient Genetic Engineering Techniques

    What a wonderful, hopeful article! Thank you Julieanne for posting this -- made my day much brighter

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Big Idea: Fighting Hunger With Ancient Genetic Engineering Techniques

    I watched a TV programme a couple of years ago - 'Searching for the wild chickpea', or a similiar title. The guy travelled all over Turkey to find the original chickpea, which will grow without fertilisers and needs little water. Growers had almost given up growing chickpeas (newer varieties) due to drought.

    He did find a couple of plants eventually, but I've heard nothing since. Seems a better way to go.

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