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Food security news

Two BBSRC projects have been shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize, an annual £1 million fund awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes the economic development and social welfare of developing countries. Both projects involve research into rice.

Discovery of a gene that turns fungi into pathogens presents chemists with a target for fungicides that could bring relief to arable farmers, vegetable growers and people. Not luck of the draw exactly but it was a random mutation in a convenient host that led to the discovery of a gene responsible for fungal disease that wrecks up to one fifth of the world’s cereal production, or hundreds of millions of tonnes of crops.

The UK’s Global Food Security programme is funding £4.9 million of interdisciplinary research to increase resilience and sustainability of the UK food system. Five projects have been awarded funding to ensure greater resilience of the UK's food supply from global shocks, environmental and demographic changes, and threats posed by pests and diseases.