Information Analysis

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549. The Importance of Social Science in Climate Change Action

Social change is needed alongside technological improvements to improve people's quality of life and ensure the prosperity of both the economy and the eco-system while achieving the goals of climate action. A recently published opinion paper in PLOS CLIMATE highlights the importance of social science in climate change action.
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548. Developments Over Concerns for Food Crisis Triggered by Russian Invasion of Ukraine

June is here, and since the beginning of the year, the international community has been faced with various challenges, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic which has not yet been fully resolved. On May 24, the World Economic Forum compiled the opinions of the world's top economists on what will happen in 2022, and one of the issues raised was the crisis in global food security brought about by the surge in prices of wheat, fertilizer, and other commodities due to the war in Ukraine.

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547. Rise in Retail Prices of Nutritious Foods in Countries with More COVID-19 Cases

The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened lives and livelihoods around the world and caused fluctuations in food prices. In this issue, we present a paper that analyzes its impact on retail food prices from around the world.
 
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546. Ukraine War and the Impact to Food and Energy Security

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has shaken international politics and markets. While the timing of the convergence is uncertain, it is imperative that this war has long-term, structural consequences for the international community. Chatham House, a British think tank, has compiled a report on the food and energy implications of the Ukraine war, which poses a cascading risk of supply disruptions.

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545. Heavy Rains, Storm Surges and Hurricanes

Along with climate change, the possibility of catastrophic disasters due to heavy rainfall as well as heat waves and droughts is predicted to increase. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) have announced that they will change the way they communicate disaster prevention information, such as the threat of linear precipitation zones and storm surge warnings for inland areas. Across the ocean in the Atlantic, hurricanes are given alphabetical names, and Ida, which caused extensive damage last year, has been placed on the "retired" list. With the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events expected to increase under global warming, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries will be severely impacted and food security may be affected. Averting catastrophic events will require the development of early warning systems as well as the creation of resilient socioeconomic and food systems through both climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.
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544. Impact of Simultaneous and Sequential Extreme Weather Events

The saying "Troubles never come singly" is becoming a reality when it comes to climate disasters in a warming world. A new NASA study, published in Environmental Research Letters, points to an increased probability of floods and heat waves occurring simultaneously in time and space, potentially resulting to crop failures, forest fires, and other disasters.
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543. The Need for Proactive Management of Drought Risks

According to a report (DROUGHT IN NUMBERS 2022) published by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in May 2022, the increasing frequency and intensity of droughts in recent years are affecting not only human societies but the entire ecosystem on which all life depends. A proactive management approach to drought risk, rather than ad hoc response measures to crises, is required, and coordination and cooperation based on adequate financial measures and political will are needed to achieve this.

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542. Symbiotic Microorganisms Contribute to the Promotion of Yam Growth― Aiming to Develop New Technology to Improve Productivity

Yam, a staple food and cash crop produced in West Africa, has been in increasing demand in recent years, and there is a need to improve its productivity. Recent studies have revealed that yams, like legume crops, symbiotically harbor nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which promote plant growth and tuber production. The results of these studies are expected to contribute to the development of yam varieties that can be cultivated in low-fertility soils, and fertilization technology that uses the power of microorganisms to reduce the cost of applying expensive chemical fertilizers.

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541. Elucidating the Relationship Between Flowering Sex and Yield of White Guinea Yam― Towards the Development of Efficient Cultivation Methods―

White Guinea yam is widely grown in the West African coastal region (Guinea Savanna) and is an important crop that supports food supply and demand in this region. However, the labor-intensive cultivation of white Guinea yams is a major burden on farmers. In collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, JIRCAS has now clarified the effect of flowering sex on tuber yield of white Guinea yam, which has not been well understood for a long time. This achievement reveals the possibility of yield improvement through flowering control in yams.
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540. Climate Change, Food Crisis and the International Day for Biological Diversity

On May 18, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released the State of the Global Climate 2021, announcing that all four key indicators of climate change - greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat, and ocean acidification - reached new records in 2021. On the same day, UN Secretary-General Guterres also addressed the already critical global food crisis in climate change and COVID-19, sounding the alarm over the rapid deterioration of food security due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and calling for urgent international collaboration to address the food crisis. May 22 is the International Day for Biological Diversity. In a globalized world, the issues of climate change, food crisis and biological diversity are closely interrelated and must be resolved through international collaboration.
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539. Prospects and Potential of Amaranths and Underutilized Crops for Health Promotion

Global environmental change is one of the most serious threats to global food security. In addition, more than 2 billion people worldwide suffer from some form of micronutrient deficiency, known as ‘hidden hunger’. In this situation, over-dependence on a limited number of crop species, such as rice, wheat, maize, and soybean, can lead to loss of genetic diversity, vulnerability of crop breeding to environmental adaptation, and unbalanced nutrition. Effective utilization of underutilized crops and genetic resources, known as orphan crops, may be one of the solutions to these problems. We are pleased to present a review article on the potential of orphan crops, particularly amaranths, for addressing environmental and nutritional issues.
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538. Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms Conferring Heat Stress Tolerance in Tomato

Climate change is a major threat to global food security, with the potential to affect the current food system not only by reducing crop production, but also by reducing the genetic diversity of its wild relatives, limiting options for future variety breeding and reducing the ability to adapt to more severe challenges in the future. In addition, the projected temperature rise in the future will increase the likelihood of extreme weather events, including heat waves, and heat stress will become a major contributor to abiotic stress in many crops. Heat stress can have adverse effects on plant morphology and physiology during all stages of vegetative and reproductive development. Especially in fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes, even moderate heat stress can dramatically reduce fruit set and yield, resulting in poor fruit quality. We are pleased to present a review article describing the genetic and molecular mechanisms for conferring heat stress tolerance in tomatoes.
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537. Palm Oil as Resource for Future Eco-life

In response to the unstable international social situation, prices of food products continue to rise due to the global surge in prices of vegetable oil, grains, meat and other commodities. In particular, the recent price increase of vegetable oil has been remarkable, and the raw material used for processing vegetable oils and fats is palm oil. Today, we would like to introduce a mini lecture, “Palm Oil as Resource for Future Eco-life” which explains the challenges facing the palm oil industry.
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536. Water connects you and Africa ~ SDGs and Agricultural Water Use

The JIRCAS Online Open House 2022 was held last month and the mini-lectures by research staff are archived on our YouTube channel. Today, we would like to introduce the mini-lecture entitled “Water connects you and Africa ~ SDGs and Agricultural Water Use”.
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535. Realizing Earth-friendly Agriculture with the Power of Microorganisms

Looking at global food production, contamination of surface and ground water is occurring  in systems that use excessive chemical fertilizers to improve soil fertility and productivity. In contrast, a variety of soil microorganisms found in the soil, especially in the rhizosphere of crops, are known to contribute to nutrient absorption by crops. Promoting the activity of beneficial microorganisms is expected to enhance crop productivity and indirectly promote environmentally friendly agriculture by reducing reliance on chemical fertilizers. Today, we introduce a mini-lecture by a JIRCAS research staff entitled, “Realizing Earth-friendly Agriculture with the Power of Microorganisms”
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534. Various Types of Rice ~Rich Rice Culture in Asia

Last month, JIRCAS held an online open house. The mini-lectures by JIRCAS research staff are archived on our YouTube channel. Today, we would like to introduce "Various Types of Rice: Rich Rice Culture in Asia".
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533. The Impact of Diversity in Agricultural Production on Children's Nutritional Status

Malnutrition has major lifelong consequences for children. In this issue, we present a paper that looks at the diversity of agricultural production, food diversity, and its impact on children's nutritional status in rural Madagascar, looking at the diversity of each farmer's agricultural production, food diversity, and its impact on children's nutritional status.
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532. Changes in Virulence of Asian Soybean Rust Pathogen in Bangladesh

Asian soybean rust is a serious problem in soybean production in tropical and subtropical regions. This disease is also a problem in Bangladesh along with the expansion of domestic production. In this study, we investigated the virulence of the Asian soybean rust against known resistance genes in order to control this disease through the introduction of resistant varieties. The results showed that while the virulence of the pathogenic samples in 2016 was weak and many of the known resistance genes were effective, the virulence of 2018 and 2019 samples changed strongly. They included a strongly virulent rust samples for which seven known resistance genes were completely ineffective. While the introduction of resistant varieties is effective from a cost and environmental impact perspective, the development of resistant varieties using gene-pyramiding to deal with highly virulent rusts is needed to achieve a stable effect of control. 
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531. Food Systems, Climate Change and Land Degradation

On May 5, it was announced that the 2022 World Food Prize will be awarded to NASA climatologist Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig who is known for her pioneering work in modeling the impacts of climate change on food production and has contributed to providing the evidence needed for food system transformation. On April 27, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) released the 2nd edition of Global Land Outlook, warning that human activities are putting unprecedented strain on the land.
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530. The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises

The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC 2022), released on May 4, reports that almost 193 million people in 53 countries and territories faced an immediate food security crisis in 2021, an increase of nearly 40 million people from the previous year, and expresses concern that the food security crisis has risen over the past six years.