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Italian scientist brings ‘pasta power’ climate adaptation solution to West Africa

Press release 16th Nov, 2017
  • ‘Heat tolerant’ durum wheat discovery can help eradicate poverty
  • Research wins international Food Security prize

A ‘crazy idea’ has resulted in the ability to grow durum wheat in the extreme heat of famine-affected Senegal, Mauritania and Mali[1], potentially boosting the income for 1 million farming families, and therefore winning the 2017 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security.

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Notes to Editors

Conventional Molecular Breeding Vs GM Breeding The goal of both GM and conventional plant breeding is to produce crops with improved characteristics by changing their genetic makeup. GM achieves this by adding a new gene or genes to the genome of a crop plant. Conventional breeding achieves it by cross-pollinating together plants with relevant characteristics, and selecting the offspring with the desired combination of characteristics, as a result of particular combinations of genes inherited from the two parents. (Source: Royal Society) About the Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security The Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security was launched in 2014 in partnership with Agropolis Fondation to recognise agricultural innovation and help advance agricultural sciences and sustainable development through research for food security. Open to both research teams and individuals globally, the Prize rewards innovative research which carries a significant potential impact on the four As of food security: availability (is there enough), accessibility (in the right place), affordability (for the whole population) and adequacy (for a nutritious, balanced diet). The Olam Prize winner receives an unrestricted US$50,000 grant for the scaling up of research. In 2015, the inaugural prize was awarded to the SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice) for their work on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a game-changing innovation that enhances productivity of rice paddy, water conservation, livelihoods, biodiversity, environmental quality and crop resilience to climate stress. About Olam International Limited Olam International is a leading agri-business operating across the value chain in 70 countries, supplying various products across 18 platforms to 23,000 customers worldwide. From a direct sourcing and processing presence in most major producing countries, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses. Headquartered in Singapore and listed on the SGX-ST on February 11, 2005, Olam currently ranks among the top 30 largest primary listed companies in Singapore in terms of market capitalisation. In 2016, Fortune magazine recognised Olam at #23 in its ‘Change the World’ list. More information on Olam can be found at Olam is located at 7 Straits View, Marina One East Tower #20-01, Singapore 018936 Telephone: +65 63394100, Facsimile: +65 63399755. About Agropolis Fondation Agropolis Fondation is a French scientific foundation established in 2007 to promote and support high-level research and higher education as well as to broaden international research partnerships in agricultural sciences and sustainable development research. It supports a research network with scientists working on all aspects of the plant and addressing issues concerning cultivated plants of tomorrow to face increasing demand for plants and plant by-products for food and non-food uses; agro-ecological transition through the development of related knowledge, methods and tools; integrated approaches of the quality of agricultural and food products; sustainability of agricultural and food systems; and interaction between climate change and crops. Agropolis Fondation is located at 1000, avenue Agropolis 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5 – France Telephone: +33 4 67047574, Facsimile: + 33 4 67047543 About ICARDA Established in 1977, ICARDA is one of the 15 centres supported by the CGIAR. ICARDA’s mission is to improve the livelihoods of the resource-poor in dry areas through research and partnerships dedicated to achieving sustainable increases in agricultural productivity and income, while ensuring efficient and more equitable use and conservation of natural resources.

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