Seemingly miraculous varieties that can withstand drought, flood, and saltwater intrusion are the result of centuries of selective breeding by ancient farmers.
While grains have fallen from grace in the rise of fad diets and industrialisation, they remain an essential food that has nourished human societies for thousands of years – we should make sure they continue to be a healthy and valuable food source going forward.
We need to de-prioritize yield within plant breeding. It has become an obsession and does little to help prepare our farmers for the future. As global temperatures continue to climb and the frequency of extreme weather events increases, our crops need to be bred for resilience so that they can adapt to the changing environment.