Pests and pathogens could cost agriculture billions

Orchid Horticulturalist Richard Taylor holds a Porpax at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, west London
Horticulturalist Richard Taylor holds a Porpax at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (Photo: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

The spread of pests and pathogens that damage plant life could cost global agriculture $540 billion a year, according to a report published on Thursday.

The report, released by the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) at Kew in London, said that an increase in international trade and travel had left flora facing rising threats from invasive pests and pathogens, and called for greater biosecurity measures.

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Crop wild relatives help adapt agriculture to climate change

Wild Sunflowers (Credit: Luigi Guarino, Global Crop Diversity Trust)

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has begun work to collect seed from the wild relatives of 26 crop plants as their genetic diversity may enable us to adapt agriculture to future climates. Guest blogger Dr Ruth Eastwood is Crop Wild Relatives Project co-ordinator, based at RBG Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place, UK.

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