The War on Stem Rust

iStock_000003429468Medium
The Washington Post today reports that a new version of an old fungus is ravaging Kenya’s wheat fields and threatens to spread beyond Africa. Stem rust was thought to have been defeated 50 years ago, but a virulent, more resistant version is now posing a major problem for Kenya’s most fertile wheat fields, and could soon become a widespread crisis.

As farmers watch their crops – and livelihoods – wither, this outbreak yet again underscores the immense importance in supporting agricultural initiatives and research innovation in the developing world.

Excerpts below, full piece here

Nobel Peace laureate Norman Borlaug, the world’s leading authority on the disease, said that once established, stem rust can explode to crisis proportions within a year under certain weather conditions.

“This is a dangerous problem because a good share of the world’s area sown to wheat is susceptible to it,” Borlaug said. “It has immense destructive potential.”

Coming on the heels of grain scarcity and food riots last year, the budding epidemic exposes the fragility of the food supply in poor countries. It is also a reminder of how vulnerable the ever-growing global population is to the pathogens that inevitably surface somewhere on the planet.

-Chris Scott

Join

Join the fight against extreme poverty

Join

Join the fight against extreme poverty

By signing you agree to ONE’s privacy policy, including to the transfer of your information to ONE’s servers in the United States.

Do you want to stay informed about how you can help fight against extreme poverty?

Sign up to receive emails from ONE and join millions of people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. We’ll only ever ask for your voice, not your money. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Privacy options
Are you sure? If you select 'Yes' we can let you know how you can make a difference. You can unsubscribe at any time.

By signing you agree to ONE's privacy policy, including to the transfer of your information to ONE.org's servers in the United States.

You agree to receive occasional updates about ONE's campaigns. You can unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply