Seed giants must collaborate or be dwarfed by threat of climate change
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vast inequalities when it comes to food security. But there is an even larger and more concerning crisis waiting for us: global food shortages caused by climate change.
According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, total global warming is likely to rise around 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next two decades.
Nobody knows when or how hard it will hit, but we inch closer each year with new temperature records, the spread of pests, and emerging crop diseases. We are already seeing the beginning of this future crisis. Climate-induced food price hikes have caused political turmoil in the Middle East, while climate-related disasters have been linked with mass human migration in South Asia.
Every seed company and crop research center worldwide is preoccupied with the race to breed hardier crops to keep pace with the demands of a growing population as circumstances become increasingly challenging. But the truth is, this is a relay race, and yet the crop research field is running 100-meter sprints in different places at different times.