SDG 2 | Zero Hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Nutrition is one of the basic human needs. Global warming will lower crop productivity and may result in famines in some developing countries. Thus, it is important to maintain a sustainable supply of safe and nutritious food. CUHK has contributed to this goal by conducting novel research on sustainable agriculture to maintain crop productivity in the midst of the environmental change. We also reach out to the community and carry out activities to promote sustainable agriculture and local food.

Curriculum

related courses were offered in the 2021–22 academic year

Teaching and Research

01

Research

Rapid climate change reduces productivity in crops. A balance in nutrition and energy recycling is critical for plants to survive under different stress conditions. A research team from the School of Life Sciences identified a novel competitive mechanism of autophagy in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This work provides an important basis for improving the nutrient and energy efficiency in crops to achieve sustainable development. The results were published in Autophagy, a top journal in this field.

Environmental stresses, such as drought, salinity and extreme temperatures, cause over 50% of the worldwide yield loss of major crops every year. A research team from the School of Life Sciences has identified the anti-aggregation mechanism of small heat shock proteins (sHsps) and revealed the structure of sHsps using advanced single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) technology. This study provides opportunities for potential enhancement of thermo-tolerance in crop plants and improvement in crop production. The findings were published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications.

The Centre for Organelle Biogenesis and Function has made a major breakthrough in identifying and functionally characterising a new population of giant COPII vesicles in response to hormone regulation and abiotic (drought) stresses in plants. The discovery may lead to the development of more drought-tolerant crops and contribute to future environmental sustainability. The results were published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Plants.

CUHK Initiatives

01

Advocating local produce in society

In 2021, the State Key Laboratory (SKL) of Agrobiotechnology held a series of academic talks on agriculture and food production, and conducted seminars on local farming and importance of soybeans in farming. These events were open to the public.

The Summer Research Placement Programme 2021 was held to forge closer relationships and strengthen research collaboration with the laboratory’s partner SKL at the China Agricultural University, the Northwest A&F University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

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SDG 1

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SDG 3