Traditional Maize Can Cope with Climate Change
IPS, 8 September 2011

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: Maize, Mexico’s staple food as well as a symbol, has the potential to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects without any need for genetically modified seeds, according to agricultural scientists. Mexicohas at least 59 landraces (traditional, locally-adapted strains that are rich in biodiversity) and 209 varieties of corn. Traditional farming systems are being studied by scientists from Bioversity International, FAO and CIMMYT, whose results were published in August in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. “Traditional seed systems may be able to provide farmers with landraces suitable for agro-ecological conditions under predicted climate change scenarios,” Mauricio Bellón, David Hodson and Jon Hellin concluded in their paper titled “Assessing the vulnerability of traditional maize seed systems in Mexico to climate change.” Read the article … Read the study’s abstract …

Nepali Women Sow a Secure Future
IPS, 7 September 2011

KATHMANDU, NEPAL: Learning a lesson from crop failures attributed to climate change, Nepal’s women farmers are discarding imported hybrid seeds and husbanding hardier local varieties in cooperative seed banks. Read the article …

Climate impacts on birds, agriculture linked
AlertNet, 6 September 2011

NORTH LAKHIMPUR, INDIA: In the days of yore, farmers forecast the weather by looking at the behaviour of birds. But as climate change alters weather patterns in northeast India, it is changing traditional knowledge – and threatening local birds that long have helped farmers control pests in their fields. Saikia and his team have been working on an effort called the All India Network Project on Agri-Ornithology. The project, taking place in regions across India, aims to identify birds in agricultural ecosystems, and help conserve those that are beneficial while managing others that create problems for farmers by eating grain. The study, sponsored by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research based in New Delhi, also aims to analyse the impact of climate change on the birds. Read the article …