Malnutrition affects billions of people globally. Major cereals such as rice, corn and wheat may not provide sufficient macro and micronutrients. Orphan crops such as millets including teff (Eragrostis teff) are rich in nutrients, they are gluten-free and are resilient to abiotic stress. What is the potential of orphan crops to address the global challenge of malnutrition, health and food security?

Climate change is one of the major challenges our society is facing. Climate change is manifested by extreme weather events such as high temperatures and drought causing significant yield losses annually. The capacity of plants to cope with extreme weather events is limited. Can extremophilic microorganisms which survive under extreme conditions be a source of novel traits that can be used to enhance crop resilience to abiotic stresses?