Information Analysis

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489. Substance from Maize that Makes the Earth Healthy

In order to increase the yield of crops and livestock feed for supporting the growing population, it is necessary to apply nitrogen fertilizer into the soil. Unfortunately, only about 50% of what is administered is absorbed by the plants, and the rest is released from the farmland in the forms of polluted water and greenhouse gases. From the latest issue of the JIRCAS bulletin, we present an article on the search for substances from maize, that can make the earth healthier.
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488. Mismatch in Seasons and Life Cycle Patterns of Plants and Animals Due to Climate Change

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been releasing Frontiers reports since 2016 that focus on emerging environmental challenges. In Frontiers 2022: Noise, Blazes and Mismatches, published on February 17, 2022, the following issues are addressed: the long-term physical and mental health impacts of urban noise pollution, the increasing frequency of wildfires and forest fires and the shifting rhythm of nature due to climate change. Today, we will focus on the mismatch between the life cycle patterns of plants and animals and the seasons.

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487. IPCC - The Need for Climate Resilient Development

In February 2022, Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”, assessing the the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels, analyzing vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change, and proposing policy commitments and governance to promote adaptation, mitigation, and achievement of the SDGs towards climate resilient development.
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486. Distribution of Stalks for Seeds of a New Sugarcane Variety “Harunoogi” Bred by JIRCAS and NARO to Farmers

Sugarcane is an important crop for food and energy production in the world, producing about 80% of the world's sugar and 40% of the world's bioethanol. In Japan, it is cultivated as a main crop in the Nansei Islands and plays an important role in maintaining domestic self-sufficiency in sugar and the social and economic life of the island region. JIRCAS, in collaboration with the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has bred Japan's first sugar cane variety for sugar production, "Harunogi", using interspecific hybridization with wild sugarcane varieties. The distribution of stalks for seeds to farmers in the Kumage and Amami regions of Kagoshima Prefecture has began in February 2022, with the aim of spreading this new variety.
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485. Addressing the Global Challenge of Malnutrition ~ Contributions from the JIRCAS Information Program

JIRCAS publishes a Japanese bulletin called “Koho JIRCAS”, which introduces the activities of research staff. This article introduces an excerpt from the latest issue focusing on our efforts to address the global challenge of malnutrition. For more details, please refer to the “Koho JIRCAS” link.

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484. Role of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Sustainable Food System

For people around the world, seafood resources are essential to a healthy diet and are of vital cultural importance. Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture workers play a major role in providing fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants. The United Nations has designated 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) to provide an opportunity to highlight the importance of small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture for our food systems, livelihoods, culture and the environment.
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483. Soil Management Research as a Key to Agricultural Development in Africa

As TICAD 8 is coming up this year, Japan’s guidelines for African development will be discussed, but it is also interesting to note what other countries are doing. The EU's strategy report on Africa released in February listed green transition as one of the political priority areas, and emphasized the central role of a strong and sustainable agriculture based on sound soil management, and the need for in-depth knowledge of the agro-climatic and soil conditions in Africa to develop such an agricultural model.
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482. Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Africa

The 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) will be held in August 2022 in Tunisia. Agriculture, as a major industry, is essential for Africa's development and is also very important from the perspective of food security. This article introduces the key messages of the FAO report "Africa - Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021" published last year and shares the current situation.
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481. Sustainable Rice Production: Adapt Production Systems to Changing Climatic Conditions and Reduce Environmental Impacts

As climate change accelerates at an unprecedented rate, each country and region needs to take measures to adapt to and mitigate climate change. This article summarizes some of the best practices that can be implemented to improve or maintain the productivity of rice cropping systems at risk from climate change as introduced in the FAO report "Crops and climate change impact briefs".

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480. Food System for the Global Environment and the Health of 10 Billion People

Today, one out of every ten people in the world suffers from hunger, while diseases associated with obesity and overweight have become widespread due to the spread of diets rich in animal products and fats. The food system that supports these dietary habits lacks agricultural diversity and is considered to be the biggest cause of biodiversity loss, and is also involved in climate change through emissions equivalent to one third of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, a growing global awareness of the need to rethink our food system has led to the visualization of the health, environmental, and economic costs of food, with the aim of encouraging behavioral change and innovation toward healthier diets for the planet and humanity.
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479. World Bank Report on Vietnam’s Economic Growth ― Addressing Climate Change Can’t Wait

Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. In a country like Vietnam, climate change will cause economic and financial damage by hitting the agricultural sector, which is the key to food security and an export industry. There is a need to assess the risks of climate change and take appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures. The report “No Time to Waste: The challenges and opportunities of cleaner trade for Vietnam”, which was published by the World Bank in January 2022, summarizes the economic outlook and impacts of climate change in Vietnam.
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478. Technology Development for Stable Agricultural Production under Adverse Environment and Changing Climate Conditions

In Africa and other developing regions, it is known that environmental factors such as low soil fertility and drought, as well as biological factors such as pests and diseases, stress the growth and development of plants and prevent the full potential of agriculture from being realized. In order to develop technologies for stable agricultural production under adverse environment and climate change, we published a review in JARQ summarizing three projects conducted at JIRCAS from FY2016-2020.
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477. Systematic Review of Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture

Improving nutrition is a challenge that cuts across many sectors. A review paper on nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA), published in Global Food Security, summarizes what works, what doesn’t work, and how it can be implemented and scaled-up in low- and middle-income countries.
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476. February 10th is "World Pulses Day"

The FAO has released "Crops and climate change impact briefs". It includes a chapter on cowpea, which describes sustainable and resilient cowpea production systems through climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation. In addition, it also discusses the contribution of these practices to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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475. Development of Sustainable Technologies to Increase Agricultural Productivity and Improve Food Security in Africa

In Sub-Saharan Africa, where one in four people is reported to be malnourished and the population is expected to double by 2050, achieving food security in terms of both quantity and quality has become an urgent issue. A review paper published in JARQ summarizes the "Food Security in Africa" project conducted by JIRCAS from 2016 to 2020.

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474. JIRCAS Joint Research Output: Book on Analysis of Production and Consumption Trends of Japonica Rice in China

JIRCAS, in collaboration with universities and research institutes in China, has long been collecting and analyzing valuable information for the formation of a healthy industrial market for rice, the most important grain for China. The result of the joint research, an academic book “High-quality Rice - An empirical analysis of Chinese Rice in the consumption upgrade era”, has now been published locally in Chinese.
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473. Global Ocean Warming and its Impact

Although the melting of glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic is the focus of much attention in the news related to climate change, the rise of ocean heat waves due to global warming will have a major impact on tropical and subtropical regions as well. A paper published in PLOS CLIMATE on February 1 points out that the increasing frequency of extreme marine heat is becoming the new normal. Another paper published in the same issue also warns that a temperature increase of 1.5℃ could put nearly all of the world's coral reefs at risk.
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472. Food Price Trends for January 2022

On February 3, 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced that that the Food Price Index averaged 135.7 points in January, and increased by 1.5 points (1.1%) compared to December 2021. The increase appears to reflect a price spike mainly due to supply constraints in major vegetable oil producing countries.

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471. Research and the Global Spread of Soybean Production

Soybean, a familiar food to Japanese people, was mainly a food crop limited to East Asia until the early 20th century. However, in the 20th century, soybean production spread throughout the world as an oilseed crop and fodder crop, and in the latter half of the 20th century, its production expanded rapidly. This expansion of soybean production areas is due to the efforts of agricultural researchers to develop varieties and cultivation techniques. JIRCAS has been conducting research on overseas soybean production for a long time, aiming to contribute to the food security of Japan and the world.
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470. Potential Impact of Glacial Melting on Ecosystems and Agricultural Infrastructure

The melting of icebergs seems to be progressing steadily in Antarctica and the Arctic. The melting of icebergs releases large amounts of fresh water, which, depending on the extent of melting, can have a significant impact on the physical and biological properties of the surrounding oceans. If climatic conditions such as accelerated glacial melting interfere with the maintenance of the storage facility, it could threaten the very basis of agriculture based on crop diversity.