This an area of serious interest to us at Fungi For The People, and we will be offering courses on cultivating and working with beneficial mycorrhizal fungi later in 2014, so stay tuned for that as well.
from IRIN News:
A matter of urgency
JOHANNESBURG, 7 November 2012 (IRIN) – As temperatures soar and droughts increase in frequency, scientists around the world are working to create food crops tolerant of extreme temperatures – often an expensive and laborious process. But a cheaper and quicker alternative could be in sight, new research suggests.
Fungi and other microbes could enable food crops like maize, wheat and rice to grow in high temperatures and salty soils, and even withstand erratic rainfall, say microbiologists, who have begun to look at the relationship between plants and micro-organisms for clues to their mutual survival through thousands of years of climate change.
Making food crops tolerant to climatic stresses could be as simple as coating seeds with micro-organisms that can confer desired traits.
Helping food crops weather climate change is a matter of urgency, said experts from 15 research centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research’s (CGIAR) Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. The programme had been asked by the UN to summarize the effects of climate change on 22 of the most important agriculture crops, from staple cereals to potatoes, lentils and commercial fruit crops like bananas.
Time is of the essence, as droughts have already become more frequent and rainfall more erratic in various parts of the world. By 2050, climate change could cause irrigated wheat yields in developing countries to fall by 13 percent, says a CGIAR review by senior scientist Philip Thornton. Irrigated rice yield could fall by as much as 15 percent. In Africa, many farmers of maize could lose 10 to 20 percent of their yields …
More of this article at the source: http://www.irinnews.org/report/96727/climate-change-fungi-offer-non-gm-way-to-enhance-food-crops