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Today agriculture faces threats that are arguably more daunting than in any previous era. The basic components of food production – land, water, nutrients, climate and crops – all appear poised to undermine rather than improve food security and thus threaten national security and peace. This address enumerated the impediments to crop production and posed the question of whether we are prepared to help crops adapt and flourish in these changed conditions. Dr Fowler concluded with a virtual tour of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – a notable effort to fashion a long-term solution to the loss of the genetic diversity upon which agriculture will depend in the future.


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