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Against the grain: Securing food supply with wheat alternatives

As war in Ukraine strangles global wheat supplies and extreme weather hits harvests, hardy and climate-resilient wild and ancient grains could bring greater food security.

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There were early signs the Covid-19 crisis would have implications far beyond the medical arena. Images of farmers heartbroken as their harvests never left the farm played beside footage of supermarket shelves stripped of essential supplies. In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus had exposed the fragility of our food supply system. While Covid-19 isn't the first or last crisis the world will face, is it the wake-up call needed to reform how our food gets from farm to fork?
19 May 2020
A new generation of desert locusts is threatening Kenya. Estimates indicate that, if left unchecked, the swarms will be 20 times worse than those that hit the region just two months ago. The UN warns that the locusts pose "an unprecedented threat" to food security and livelihoods.
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Kurdish female volunteers, from the newly formed Community Protection Forces, guard wheat fields following threats by jihadists to burn the crops, during harvest season near the city of Rmeilan in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province.
10 Oct 2020
Argentina has approved HB4 drought-resistant GMO wheat by biotechnology firm Bioceres SA BIOX.BA, the company and the government said on Wednesday, making it the first country in the world to approve a strain of GMO wheat.
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Northern traders lift blockade on food supply to South
25 Oct 2021
Afghanistan's Taliban government launched a programme to tackle hunger on Sunday, offering thousands of people wheat in exchange for labour.
27 Oct 2021
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11 Mar
Middle Eastern and North African countries rely heavily on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine. The current war could lead to a severe food crisis in a region already under pressure.
19 Mar
Following independence in 1991, Ukraine's economic development was hamstrung by corruption, capital flight and a lack of reforms. Recent improvements are now being threatened by Russia's war in the country.
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Concern over global food supplies has been rising since Russia invaded Ukraine. Known as "the breadbasket of Europe", Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat and other cereals. But with fierce fighting threatening crops and harvests, authorities say wheat production this year could drop by 30 percent. We take a closer look. Plus, the US Federal Reserve has signalled that it will start selling off its massive haul of bonds to the tune of $95 billion a month, rattling markets.
19 Apr
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to impact crucial food exports, wheat prices are soaring. Many African countries rely on Ukrainian and Russian grain exports and could face a severe food crisis. But in Cameroon, entrepreneurs are coming up with alternatives to wheat, which is used to make flour. Production of bread and cakes made from local cassava and sweet potato flour is now booming. These tubers are abundant in the country but are normally used unprocessed in traditional dishes. Our correspondents report.