Climate change to affect wheat production, experts warn

Experts warned in a study published in Berlin on Wednesday that wheat yields could drop by seven per cent for every degree celsius of global warming.

“Over the coming years, wheat production will be challenged by an increasingly variable climate with multiple studies indicating a seven per cent decline in yield for each degree increase in temperature,” the experts said.

This is according to the strategy paper produced by the Wheat Initiative, a group of public and private entities engaged in wheat research.

The study noted that lower water availability already had a significant impact in irrigated regions, and the issue was expected to be further exacerbated by reduced groundwater levels and decreasing rainfall.

There was also likely to be increased pressure to reduce fertiliser and pesticide use as a protective measure to reduce environmental contamination.

According to the paper, research priorities include increasing genetic diversity and understanding root and soil biology.

The paper is a joint effort by wheat researchers, government representatives and plant cultivation firms.

The Wheat Initiative was created in 2011 and connected wheat researchers worldwide to promote food security.

Nearly a quarter of the wheat produced worldwide is traded internationally, unlike rice, which is largely consumed domestically by producers. 


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