SoAR (Supporters of Agricultural Research) published “Developing Global Priorities for Plant Research” report describing five “approaches” to addressing the greatest challenges facing agriculture in the 21st Century, including increasing production while reducing inputs in a changing climate.
It emphasizes how the advent of new tools and technologies – such as CRISPR, computer modeling, and sensors – have positioned researchers to deliver unprecedented solutions. The report also stresses the importance of employing a “system of systems” and “interdisciplinary” approach as well as concentrating on “crop-agnostic” research in which discoveries can be readily translated across a wide range of species. This critical work, however, will rely on redoubling recruitment and training of the next generation of researchers.
The report presents a concise set of plant-focused research recommendations to inform the decision-making of agricultural research funders. It is the result of a series of interviews and an in-person meeting with twelve leading plant scientists from Europe, China, and the United States.