25 Mar 2019

Climate resilient crops being developed for the Pacific

From , 5:04 am on 25 March 2019

Scientists trying to develop crops more resilient to climate change say they're increasingly in a race against time.

Breeding plants with more resilient genes - say, a greater tolerance of saltwater, resilience to drought, or greater yields - has been long touted as a saviour as climate change intensifies.

Olivier Panaud, from the University of Perpignan in France, works mostly with rice crops, but has also been experimenting with crops in tropical areas.

As climate change intensifies -- especially in areas like the Pacific -- he says such crops are still some time off.

He started by telling Jamie Tahana how it works.

Olivier Panaud's plant breeding

Olivier Panaud's plant breeding Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Jamie Tahana