Crop Protection

2Blades announces AIM for Climate Innovation Sprint focused on plant diversity and gene tools to combat disease threats to legumes

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14 November 2022, UN: Climate change is an urgent threat to food security, with changing temperatures and precipitation patterns reducing crop yields and increasing the vulnerability to and spread of plant pathogens and pests. Current global annual losses of wheat, rice, maize, potato, and soybeans of 30% from these sources are worsening with climate change, wasting inputs and putting further demands on food systems.

The Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate is an initiative of the United States and the United Arab Emirates launched in 2021, that seeks to address climate change and global hunger by promoting increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food system innovation. AIM for Climate is extending its climate objectives at COP27, hosted in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, with a focus on Smallholder Farmers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Methane Reduction, Emerging Technologies, and Agroecological Research.

Soybean and other legumes are important crops for human and livestock nutrition, soil nitrogen, and economic benefits for smallholder growers in Sub-Saharan Africa, where strong demand is driving increasing production. Asian soybean rust (ASR) is a fungus that causes explosive disease outbreaks, is a leading cause of soybean yield losses globally, and poses a significant threat to African production.

A non-profit, translational research organization and agtech accelerator, 2Blades has pioneered next-gen gene discovery platforms to mine genetic diversity and achieve enhanced disease resistance in crops. Its Innovation Sprint focuses on building genetic resistance resources for a range of legumes, with a target of delivering durable ASR resistance for African growers.

As part of its Innovation Sprint, 2Blades seeks to build on its commitment of $6.6M and raise an additional $12.7M from partners to fast track climate-resilience for legumes. Current partners in the Innovation Sprint include Bayer Crop Science, Kaneka Corporation, and The Sainsbury Laboratory.

“The global recognition of crop disease threats to food systems and the prioritization of innovative approaches are critical for producing effective, long-lasting, and safe solutions to these urgent challenges,” said Diana Horvath, President at 2Blades. “The AIM for Climate Initiative helps to foster the creative partnerships between public and private organizations that are needed to deliver impact. We’re honored to be selected as an Innovation Sprint leader.”

In a Roadshow Event associated with AIM for Climate, 2Blades will convene a panel of its Innovation Sprint partners and other experts to share perspectives on paths to Advancing Agricultural Innovation for Climate-resilient Crops. Registration for the 9 am ET, November 12th event is open to the public. Panelists include representatives from 2Blades, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Bayer Crop Science, Kaneka Corporation, the Soybean Innovation Lab, and Pivot Bio.

Also Read: Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane announces 1 crore seed fund for Agri-tech Startups

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