In the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna talks about the opportunities and risks of gene scissors. The tool can be used to specifically treat hereditary diseases, breed drought-tolerant plants and reduce greenhouse gas emis-sions from cows.
More and more invasive pests are spreading in Switzerland. The most recent example is the Asian hornet, which poses a major threat to the native honey bee. But other invasive species also threaten agriculture and biodiversity. Control measures are many and varied. But pesticides (plant protection products and biocides) remain an important tool in the fight against the pests.
The global food system is currently responsible for approximately one third of all greenhouse gas emissions. Animal products, which require a large amount of land to produce, are one of the major contributors. For this reason, a number of start-ups are working eagerly on alternative protein products that require fewer resources and no animals, and are produced using industrial processes. After all, to feed more than nine billion people, all options and technologies have to be considered.
A study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) posits that organic farming causes significantly lower environmental costs than conventional farming. However, agricultural economist Herbert Strübel disagrees, as the significantly lower yields of organic farming are not included in the calculation.
Nobel prize laureate Nüsslein-Volhard: “Genetic engineering offers major opportunities for environmental protection”
Genetically modified plants are not cultivated in Europe, an approach criticized by Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard as anti-scientific and ideology-driven.
The demand for both food and electricity is set to increase dramatically in future. Concurrently, there will be less free space available. So why don’t we use arable land to produce both food and electricity at the same time? This would be possible using solar panels that produce electricity several meters above the ground. Plants that need shady conditions could grow beneath them.
This summer, large parts of Europe have received less rainfall than at almost any other time in their history. A phenomenon we are set to see occur ever more frequently in future. The trend in Switzerland is also pointing towards more drought. This poses an enormous challenge for agriculture. With a drought early warning system, farmers should, in future, have better opportunities to plan for these eventualities.
The drought from 2018 to 2020 was the worst in the last 250 years. This is the finding of researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research. As a result of climate change, future droughts could last for as long as 20 years, which would have profound consequences for agriculture and the world’s food supply. Meanwhile, countries like Switzerland are still ill- prepared for the threat of such droughts.
Beekeeping is booming in Swiss cities. Urban residents want to make a contribution to the conservation of the honeybee. However, a study by the WSL research institute shows that the amateur beekeeping is not sustainable. It endangers biodiversity in cities, as honey bees increasingly displace wild insects.
On the occasion of the 26th Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Matthias Berninger, Global Head of Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability at Bayer, talks about the potential of new fertilisers for climate protection.
Agriculture is one of the first victims of climate change. At the same time, it causes a significant share of global greenhouse gases. New technologies are the key to minimising the problem. But experts in particular are finding it increasingly difficult to recognise innovations as a solution to climate change.
The two agrochemical producers Bayer and Syngenta are investing in an American start-up whose technology can massively reduce the use of nitrogen fertiliser.