Bridging the gaps in plant breeding training in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand

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Plant breeding is a multidisciplinary applied science that is crucial for enhancing food, fodder, fuel, and fiber production globally. Using detailed surveys in three Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, this study investigated the current state of the plant breeding sector across tertiary, government, and industry levels. The findings highlight increasing concerns about the shortage of trained plant breeders, especially in the private sector, impacting food security and the economy.

The need for a coordinated approach between the public and private sectors is emphasized. Suggestions for improvements include the establishment of dedicated training facilities, national funds for graduate fellowships, and increased private sector involvement in plant breeding education. The importance of adapting plant breeding courses to emerging scientific and technological advancements is highlighted, along with industry-relevant training and improved promotion of the sector. The study raises awareness of the global shortage of trained plant breeders and provides valuable insights for decision makers toward strategic planning to address global food and fiber production challenges.

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