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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Addressing water scarcity in agriculture: how can indigenous or traditional practices help?

Gerhard Flachowsky
Gerhard FlachowskyFederal Research Institute for Animal HealthGermany

Dear Colleagues,

I agree that water is in many regions one of the most important limiting factors for plant growth and human being. I agree also with the FSN activities to find out, how can indigenous or traditional practices may help to overcome water scarcity in agriculture.

But personal, I think that we also need a long term programme to overcome water scarcity. I think that we need more research activities and political willingness for a sustainable utilization of naturally limited and non-renewable resources such as water, fuel, arable land etc.

In the case of water, we need plants:

- with a more efficient use of water

- which are able to use salt water

- which are more resistant against abiotic and biotic stressors such as drought-tolerant plants

Therefore, we need a long term programme of plant breeding by public supported research institutes to deal with such substantial questions. The private plant breeding would not be interested in such scientific questions. We have to understand the physiological, biochemical, and molecular processes of these important traits in order to develop such plants (see above).

Gerhard Flachowsky