Nuclear technique helps farmers adapt to climate change

Teff, a grass-like plant with tiny seeds, is the staple food for over 60 million people in Ethiopia and is the basis of traditional Ethiopian cuisine. The cereal crop may however not be strong enough to withstand the consequences of climate change: less rain and strong winds.
A project supported by support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), are now using different doses of gamma irradiation to create new plant varieties with favorable traits: shorter stems that make it less susceptible to lodging, shorter maturity period, which would require less water, and higher yield and protein content.

Developing a new plant variety is a slow and painstaking process – because researchers need to wait for the plants to grow and mature before seeing any results.


Learn more about the ongoing work here.