Options to promote food security: on-farm management and in situ conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture
Nigel Maxted, Shelagh Kell and Joana Magos Brehm
FAO CGRFA Background Study Paper no. 51 (April 2011)

Produced for the thirteenth session of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), to be held from 18-22 July 2011, in Rome, Italy, this study provides an analysis of the issues, options and associated challenges in on-farm management of plant diversity and in situ conservation of crop wild relatives, particularly in developing countries. At the national level, development of landraces and crop wild relatives conservation strategies is an option, while taking into account local needs and indigenous knowledge of farmers and providing the necessary resources for long term commitment. At its core would be a national network of conservation sites to maintain landraces and wild relatives diversity. At the international level, a call to establish a global network for the in situ conservation of the wild relatives diversity of crops important for food security is reiterated. There is an allied need to develop improved indicators of diversity, genetic erosion and vulnerability that can be applied to establish national, regional and global baselines for locating and monitoring diversity, and changes in diversity over time. The promotion of the use of genetic resources by researchers, farmers and breeders that characterize, evaluate and screen PGRFA for novel traits is challenging yet necessary. The paper emphasizes that strong, multidisciplinary collaborations are required at the national, regional and international level. Download the study [pdf] … Visit the CGRFA-13 website … Follow CGRFA-13 coverage by IISD Reporting Services …