University of Sheffield research to counter effects of droughts

Pod Yield Project: UK scientists develop climate-resilient bean crop

Scientists in the UK have developed beans that may be able to use up to 40 percent less water. This would make them a more reliable food crop during droughts. The project was executed in response to ongoing concerns in Latin America, where beans and other legumes provide high-quality nutrition in the region.

It resulted in scientists from the University of Sheffield have created a climate-resilient bean to support food security in the area. The Pod Yield Project examined the differences between the common bean and the tepary bean, a variety which has been naturally grown in Mexico for thousands of years. With its ability to be grown in semi-desert environments, the team observed how the tepary bean is better suited to its environment.

Image: University of Sheffield 

Professor Julie Gray, from the project, told "Modern agriculture uses a lot of water - about 70 percent of the global freshwater. This resource is diminishing under climate change, and we desperately need to find new ways to allow farmers to reduce irrigation and still provide enough food for our growing population. We hope that our work will produce crops that use less water and are better suited to future warmer and drier climates."

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