The birthplace of the apple is in crisis.
Our very own JK has been invited to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan next week to speak to a group of international attendees at an Organic Agriculture Workshop. Their goal is to identify the current and future needs of organic agriculture in Central Asia.
Malus Sieversii, a wild variety of apple that grows on the slopes of the Tien Shan Mountains, has had it's entire genome sequenced and has been proven to be one of the key ancestors of all the apples grown and eaten throughout the world today. What does this mean for us?
"The shrinking of the wild apple forests in the former Soviet republic will have economic consequences for the apple industry elsewhere, according to researchers in the U.S. Some Kazakh strains show resistance to costly diseases, while others use water more efficiently or are drought-tolerant. “Varieties with these traits could potentially add billions in efficiency to the market,” says Gennaro Fazio, a U.S. Department of Agriculture plant geneticist. “If you lose it, it’s gone. It’s not going to be a source to draw upon—and we’re not only talking about the U.S. market, we’re talking worldwide.”