Food security - finding the answers...

09 December 2010


Ensuring food, fibre, feedstock and fuel security in the future is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. In the next 40 years, the world’s population will increase from 6 billion to 9 billion, with most of the increase occurring in the developing world. To avoid food shortages on an unprecedented global scale, crop yields must be increased by a similar margin, in the same timeframe.

Through addressing crop production and species conservation, the Institute on Plants for the 21stCentury will generate scientific resources that will enable policy makers, conservation biologists, multinational companies and individuals to use land in a way that will maximise crop outputs and protect ‘hotspots’ of species diversity. Plants for the 21stCentury today launches its new website to showcase the latest research in the areas of crops, trees and conservation that will help to generate these resources. The site also offers information on news, events and partner organisations, as well as profiles of the academic staff working at the Institute.

James Martin Fellow Andrew Liddell will be managing the site:

“Our new website will be a vital first port-of-call for anyone wanting to know about food security issues in the 21stcentury. The website will help unite our interdisciplinary team of academics across the University of Oxford. It will also be our starting point for launching new citizen science projects to harness the knowledge of experts and amateurs all across the world.”

The Institute on Plants for the 21stCentury is one of 19 new research projects developed as a result of the recent matched funding challenge, which raised $100 million to fund research into most serious dangers and opportunities facing us in the future.