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Combating the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture

Climate change has a significant negative impact in agricultural settings. An EU-funded project aimed to address this issue through the training of scientists and sharing knowledge on how to improve plant breeding and crop production.

Climate Change and Environment

Climate change in Europe is expected to cause a decrease of up to 20 % in plant productivity. This in turn could negatively influence the stability of agricultural ecosystems. To counter this, there is a need to improve on plant research focused on adapting to climate stress. The ʹClimate change: Challenge for training applied plant scientistsʹ (AGRISAFE) project was headed by the Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (ARI HAS). Although the institute was already a regional leader in crop research and breeding, the aim of the project was to develop a regional Research Training and Service Centre. This centre would train researchers, breeders and producers, and help farmers in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) combat the effects of climate change. Exchange of knowledge and experience was achieved through the training of young scientists from ARI HAS at institutions abroad. They received training in several areas related to plant stress tolerance. Four experienced researchers were also recruited to work for a period of time at the institute. A portion of the project funding was used to purchase new laboratory equipment and analysis software, as well as servers, work stations and notebooks. A meteorological station for data collection and analysis, and a well equipped lecture room for courses and meetings were also established. Project activities and efforts thus strengthened relationships between scientists in the field, and improved the research potential of ARI HAS. The research results will be made available to farmers and consumers to raise awareness about how food security can be achieved in the face of climate change.

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