In situ conservation of crops and their relatives: a review of current status and prospects for wheat and maize
This paper reviews the current status and prospects for in situ conservation of maize and wheat and their relatives. The caricature of in situ conservation-that it imposes cultural stasis and isolation on marginal communities-is avoided as simplistic. The prospect of combining crop improvement with the retention of useful diversity is examined. Such initiatives are seen as benefiting from both farmer and breeder expertise. Local varieties and production systems are not necessarily seen as incompatible with introduced germplasm. The need for protecting wild relatives of wheat and maize from human-induced pressures is discussed, as is the idea of supporting diversity-rich farm systems (with minimal individual subsidy and institution building) that are compatible with introduced varieties and improved yields. Maintaining useful diversity is seen as involving both conservation efforts and appropriate breeding interventions. Questions about the wisdom of relying on stored genetic resources while evolution and social change continue in and around the field are examined.
|Subjects:||AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES AND BIOTECHNOLOGY, ZEA MAYS, MAIZE, TRITICUM, WHEAT, HIGH YIELDING VARIETIES, GENETIC RESOURCES, GERMPLASM CONSERVATION, INNOVATION ADOPTION, RESEARCH PROJECTS,|
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