Information Analysis

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400. Earth System, Food Systems and Innovation

October 16 was World Food Day which provided an opportunity to remind us that the way we produce, consume and waste food is taking a heavy toll on our planet. To mark our 400th blog, today’s Pick Up briefly features Prof. Ruth DeFries’ argument on the relation between the earth systems, food systems and innovation.

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399. Development of New Production Technology for Larval Shrimp~Balancing Basic and Applied Research~

There are many species of shrimp, but the most widely farmed shrimp in the world is the whiteleg shrimp of the family Penaeidae. The current production methods that support the huge shrimp farming industry are not very efficient and place a heavy burden on the parent shrimp. Based on biological findings, JIRCAS is promoting research to develop a new maturation promotion technology that is friendly to shrimp and efficient.

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398. Agriculture IoT Solution Expected to be Used in Developing Countries

In order to solve food problems caused by climate change and constraints on the agricultural workforce in developing regions, there are growing expectations for smart agricultural technologies that enable labor-saving, reduced workload and increased efficiency in agriculture through the use of advanced technologies and digital information.
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397. International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2021: International Cooperation for Developing Countries

The United Nations has designated October 13th as "International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction" to promote global risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Disasters have a significant impact on food and nutrition security through their impact on agriculture. This year’s theme is “International cooperation for developing countries to reduce their disaster risk and disaster losses”.

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396. JARQ Special Issue on the Scientific Contributions of Japan and Japanese Researchers to CGIAR

The CGIAR is an international organization established in 1971 for the purpose of improving the productivity and technological development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in developing countries. The 15 CGIAR research centers (as of 2020) function as independent institutions and have contributed to solving global food and environmental problems as a frontier of international agricultural research, covering a wide range of topics such as crops, livestock, forests, fisheries, and natural resource management. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the CGIAR in 2021, a special issue of the Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly (JARQ) focuses on the scientific contributions of Japan and Japanese researchers to CGIAR and their major achievements.
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395. Alliance of the UN Food Systems Summit and Tokyo Nutrition Summit 2021

The “Nutrition for Growth Year of Action” was launched in December 2020. As we have reported in the past, the UN Food Systems Summit was held in September this year. And in December, the Tokyo Nutrition Summit 2021 will be held. Together, these two summits address the need for all stakeholders to unite and actively participate in the mission to ensure that all people have access to safe, affordable and nutritious food by 2030.
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394. Practical application of global research results and establishment of a model platform for promoting private-sector research collaboration and creating new business ventures (Research applications/ventures)

Up until the present, research results/technologies generated by JIRCAS have been mainly disseminated and established by research organizations and government agencies in the relevant target countries. In this way, examples of institute researchers directly utilizing their research results to contribute to their rapid development and dissemination have been limited. In the “Research applications/ventures”  project, JIRCAS will take up the challenge of establishing a business model for the first time, in order to create a platform for disseminating research results and revitalizing  research activities. Such activity will serve to refine JIRCAS-generated technologies in context of the needs of the relevant target countries and regions, and optimize their usage through various collaborations with domestic/overseas organizations and the private sector.
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393. Prepare for the Looming Water Crisis

Floods and droughts due to climate change and changes in rainfall patterns at the global and regional levels due to rising temperatures are having a major impact on food security and human well-being through changes in the agricultural season. On October 5, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its white paper, 2021 State of Climate Services: Water, stressing the urgent need for policy development and investment in sustainable development goals, climate change adaptation, and disaster crisis mitigation.

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392. International Cooperation Day

Today, October 6th is International Cooperation Day, which has been established in 1987 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Since its establishment as the Tropical Agriculture Research Center (TARC) in 1970, JIRCAS has been a leader in international joint research on agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in tropical and subtropical regions and other developing regions for half a century, and currently conducts joint research with 66 research institutions in 29 countries. In order to promote joint research with research institutes in these regions, we also invite administrators and researchers from joint research partners to Japan.

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391. The Road to COP26

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held in Glasgow, UK from October 31 to November 12, 2021. This conference is seen as the last chance for the international community to take control of the climate emergency. Climate change action requires a global response, and while many countries are setting ambitious goals for COP26, the fact is that many developing countries need support for capacity.

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390. Protecting Sugarcane from Disease

Sugarcane white leaf disease is causing serious damage to sugarcane production in various parts of Asia, especially in Thailand, the world's second largest exporter of sugar. This article introduces some of the research JIRCAS has conducted in collaboration with local research institutes and other organizations on the development of methods to control sugarcane white leaf disease, as well as some aspects of research life in the field. 

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389. Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2021, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a new report on the relationship between climate change and sustainable development goals (Climate Development and Sustainable Development: Demonstrating the Interconnections). Of the 17 SDGs, the one affected by all seven indicators is SDG 2, "Zero hunger," and requires the use of scientific and technological innovations to address climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

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388. An Innovation that Enables Improved Food Production and Reduced Environmental Impact

Ahead of COP26 in November, the international community is required to make bold and effective commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In modern agriculture, the application of nitrogen fertilizers for food production has always resulted in the emission of nitrous oxide, which is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. For many years, JIRCAS and its partners have been working on an innovation to resolve this contradiction - the development of crops with improved biological nitrification inhibition (BNI). Wheat is one of the most important cereals, using almost one-fifth of the world's chemical fertilizers. An article published on September 10 in the online scientific journal Anthropocene discusses the potential of this work to both increase productivity and reduce environmental impact.
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387. International Day for Awareness on Food Loss and Waste

Today, September 29th, is the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste as designated by the United Nations. Globally, food loss and waste account for 38% of the total energy used in the global food system, which could feed 2 billion people, and 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are related to food loss and waste. Goal 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to reduce food loss and waste, and action to reduce food loss and waste cannot wait.

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386. Information Gathering and Analysis: An Overview of the “Information Hub” Project

Today is the “International Day for Universal Access to Information”. Information is power, and universal access provides the foundation for a healthy and inclusive knowledge society. In the 5th Medium- to Long-term Plan which began in April 2021, JIRCAS has established the “Strategic information hub for international agricultural research” project as part of the Information Program in order to collect and analyze information on the increasingly complex and diverse agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in developing regions and tropical and subtropical regions, as well as issues and development needs related to the global food system, and to widely disseminate this information both domestically and internationally.
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385. UN Food Systems Summit: For People, Planet, and Prosperity

The United Nations Food Systems Summit, an international discussion on food system transformation, was held on September 23, 2021. This summit, positioned as the “People's Summit”, is the first time that a UN summit has been held so openly. The Chair's Summary Statement of Aactions listed five key areas on how to make global progress on the SDGs and ensure basic human rights, namely, (1) Nourish all people, (2) Boost nature-based solutions, (3) Advance equitable livelihoods, decent work and empowered communities, (4) Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses, and (5) Support means of implementation.

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384. Sudden Increase of Migration Caused by Climate Change

In September 2021, the World Bank released a report on population movements caused by climate change. The report predicts that by 2050, there could be 2.16 million population movements caused by climate change in six regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, South Asia, North Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Basically, people will move from areas with low water access and crop productivity, and areas susceptible to sea level rise, to cities and areas suitable for agriculture. The report states that up to 80% of internal migration due to climate change can be avoided through global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and through environmentally friendly, inclusive and resilient development.

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383. Innovations for Sustainable Food Systems in the Asia Monsoon Region

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) formulated the "Green Food System Strategy" in May 2021, emphasizing the importance of innovations that can reduce environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions without affecting food productivity. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all innovation, sharing knowledge on promoting social implementation among regions that share similar environmental and social conditions is expected to ensure food and nutrition security and accelerate climate change response. For Japan, which is located in the Asian monsoon region, it is extremely important to promote innovation in the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors through networking with agricultural research and development institutions active in the region. JIRCAS will hold an international symposium online on November 17 with the theme “The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in the Asia Monsoon Region - A Platform for International Collaboration”.

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382. United in Science 2021 

On September 16, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other UN agencies released "United in Science 2021," a compilation of the latest climate science information, calling for all nations to commit to climate change action. The following day, on September 17, the UN released a report summarizing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to be submitted to the UN by each of the 191 member states of the Paris Agreement, welcoming the countries that had set ambitious targets but calling for further reduction targets.

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381. Towards Building Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems in Africa

According to a report released at the African Green Revolution Forum Summit on September 7, 2021, 75% of the factors driving the impressive growth in agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000 were due to the expansion of arable land, with crop yield improvement contributing only 25%. As the region's population is projected to continue to grow, increasing productivity on existing farmland is one of the most important measures to increase the resilience and sustainability of the food system. The JIRCAS Food Program is developing technologies that can contribute to regional and global food and nutrition security through two projects: “African rice farming system” and “African upland farming system”.