Cuba develops crops resistant to climate change

HAVANA, Cuba (CMC) — Cuban scientists have created varieties of crops that will be able to withstand the effects of climate change.The Cuban news agency reports that professionals from the National Research Institute of Tropical Viandas (INIVIT) have genetically engineered varieties of cassava, sweet potato, yams and bananas to withstand climate change.

Director of the Institute, Sergio Rodriguez Morales says the clones require less water and are more resistant to pests.

According to Morales, climate variations greatly affect the growth of vegetables, adding that one-Celsius degree of the maximum average temperature causes a reduction of 10 per cent in agricultural yields.

He revealed that among the clones developed – the short-statured plantain, is able to withstand high winds and also produces higher yields than traditional varieties of plantains.“We also managed to change the morphology of cassava up to produce smaller plants…”

He said between 35,000 to 53,000 seedlings have been designed in the bio-factory to meet the needs of agricultural production and in accordance with the peculiarities of each region.

 

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