A recent study has shown that GM crops are less productive than conventional varieties. The study undermines the claims made by the pro-GM lobby of higher returns through GM crops. A

This was not a sudden crisis. It may be only this spring that food prices have started sparking riots on the streets of Haiti and Egypt, not to mention rice rationing at Wal-Mart's cash-and-carry stores, but food prices have been rising since 2000. The rises accelerated in 2006, when global cereal stocks dropped to levels not seen since the early 1980s. And although the factors driving them are many and various, a good few of them look likely to persist for years to come. (Editorial)

Farmers in Bangladesh, an agriculture-driven economy, are in for an era of dependency on hybrid seeds. Following a large-scale destruction of the country's paddy crops in the previous season, the

concerns over a possible attack of Ug99 on wheat crops in Pakistan is soaring high. But officials in the country have said the globetrotting infectious wheat fungus has not reached croplands there.

Global food prices have witnessed an unprecedented surge in recent months. The increase in prices, which initially started with corn and wheat, has now engulfed all cereals, and vegetable oils, meat, milk and most fruits and vegetables. The food price index (base 2005=100) of the International Monetary Fund, which covers a large number of food items, reached 170 in March 2008; the highest value of the index in the past quarter century was 143 in November 1980. (Editorial) April 26-May 2, 2008

Decline in national wheat productivity, and stagnation of yield in the national Advanced Varietal Trials in the past decade are partly attributed to high temperature stress during the period of grain-filling. In view of the predicted global warming, terminal heat stress is likely to increase.

The habitat loss, increasing air pollution, changes in the microclimatic conditions and uncontrolled harvest have become the major detrimental factors for lichen diversity in India. Propagation of lichens by means of tissue culture method proved to be uneconomical and their re-introduction into the field has been unsuccessful. Hence declaring lichen-rich areas as

If there is an example of a silver bullet among genetically modified (GM) crops, it would be virus-resistant papaya trees. They saved the papaya industry in Hawaii from devastation by the ringspot virus, a serious pathogen that deforms fruit and eventually kills conventional trees.

More than a billion acres have been planted with genetically engineered crops in the USA since 1996, but we do not fully know their ecological costs and benefits.

Demand for plant products has never been greater, more people, rising affluence, and expanding biofuels programs are rapidly pushing up the prices of grain and edible oil. Boosting supply isn't easy: All the best farm land is already in use. There's an acute need for another jump in global agricultural productivity-a second Green Revolution. Can it happen? Will it happen? (Editorial)