The Future Carbon Crop

Increasing population has been creating a big threat to the Economy and Environment to the world. It is estimated that population will be doubled by the end of century of 12 billion (7.5 billion population at present). So, there will be more demand for food and food security is to be maintained by every country to feed the population in the future.

Climate change due to agriculture:

  • Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock.
  • 11% of the global land surface is used for crop production. (1.5 billion hectares)
  • From the start of Industrial revolution, demand for crops increased and large scale Monoculture cultivation dominated the agricultural output in the recent years.
  • Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological development have sharply increased yields, while causing huge damage to Environment.
  • Agriculture had lead to large scale of deforestation, and habitat loss to the animals.
  • Increasing population leads to large scale clearance of forest land into farm lands.
  • Agriculture irrigation accounts for 70% of world’s fresh resources usage. Due to less investment in water conservation, there is problem of water scarcity in the future.
  • Agriculture accounts to large amount of toxic disposal of chemicals into fresh waters and major source of water pollution by pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides.

Problems faced for Agriculture by climate:

  • Crop production is mainly dependent on climate especially the rain fed cultivated crops.
  • Change in climate disturbs the agricultural pattern and produces low yield to the farmers.
  • Low yield leads to increase in prices of vegetables and fruits. Farmers lead to debt to the banks and others. These things totally destroy the economy.
  • Food security is the major problem faced in the future to feed the increasing population due to climate change.
  • Low yields increases the use of more chemicals in the crop production.

The person behind the future carbon crop:

Joanne Chory

Joanne Chory is leading the Salk Institute’s Harnessing Plants Initiative (HPI), an innovative, scalable and bold approach to fight climate change by optimizing a plant’s natural ability to capture and store carbon and adapt to diverse climate conditions.

Chory and HPI team aim to help plants grow bigger, more robust root system that can absorb larger amounts of carbon by burying it in the ground in the form of Suberin( a naturally occurring carbon-rich substance).

Salk team will use cutting edge genetic and genomic techniques to develop these Salk ideal plants.

Chory has spent more than 30 years using Arabidopsis Thaliona, a small flowering mustard plant, as a model plant growth. She has pioneered the use of molecular genetics to study how plants alter their size, shape and form to optimise growth and photosynthesis for particular environment.

Utilizing plant genetics coupled with biochemical studies has allowed her to determine one of the most complex signal networks that controls growth and development in response to environmental change.

Donate SALK university for Joanne Chory research

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