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Crops: Droughts

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what programmes to develop drought-resistant or tolerant crops are being funded by her Department.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DEFRA funds research on the impact of water shortages on farming through the Farming and Food Science Sustainable Water Management R and D programme, which includes research and development to develop crop varieties with improved water-use efficiency. These projects are shown in the following table.

DEFRA also funds broader Crop Genetic Improvement Networks (on cereals, oilseed rape, pulses, vegetables, grasses, biomass crops) which deliver tools and knowledge to underpin plant breeding and the development of varieties with improved performance such as efficient use of water and nutrients.

Project code End date Title
AC0314 30 April 2013 Identification of important crop traits for adaptation to climate change
HL0187LFV 31 March 2012 Improving water use efficiency and fruit quality in field grown strawberry
WU0106 30 June 2011 Generic approaches to increasing water use efficiency (WUE) in crops by enhancing abscisic acid biosynthesis
WU0107 31 March 2012 Determination of the response of strawberry to water-limited conditions, identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) and development of molecular markers
WU0115 31 March 2014 Genomics tools for pre-selection of water-use efficiency in top fruit rootstocks
WU0121 31 March 2012 An Integrated Approach to Increasing Water Use Efficiency and Drought Tolerance of Wheat Production in UK
IF0145 31 March 2013 Understanding and dissecting the genetic control of key “environmental impact” traits in forage grasses and legumes
LK0688 31 March 2013 Development of productive and persistent high quality forage grasses and white clover with increased water-use-efficiency and resilience to summer droughts
IF0142 30 September 2011 Sequencing the gene space of potato chromosome IV, comparative analysis with tomato and development of a gene based mapping platform (contribution to a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council project-funding of SCRI component)
IF0157 31 March 2012 Leafy Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN 1): Pre-breeding research to support sustainable farming of leafy vegetables and salads
IFO158 31 March 2012 Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN 2): Pre-breeding research to support sustainable farming of carrot and onion
IF0146 30 November 2013 The Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN) - Improving the environmental footprint of farming through crop genetics and targeted traits analysis
IF0147 31 January 2014 DEFRA Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network
IF0144 31 March 2013 OREGIN - Pre-breeding research to support climate change adaptation and reduction of the environmental footprint of oilseed rape
LK09129 15 September 2014 Exploiting novel genes to improve resource use efficiency in wheat

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