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plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

THE STATE OF USE often

THE STATE OF USE often relied on direct distribution of seed to farmers. Such seed has often originated outside the local area or even outside the country concerned. However, recent studies have shown the potentially negative side-effects of such practices including undermining the national seed sector and reducing local crop diversity. New intervention approaches based on markets (seed fairs and vouchers, for example) and on in-depth assessments of the seed security situation, are increasingly being used by aid agencies in their efforts to restore agricultural production following a disaster. Many of the country reports referred to the suboptimal state, or even the non-functionality, of seed production and distribution systems. Bangladesh and Senegal, for example, indicated that despite considerable private sector involvement, there were serious problems related to the cost, quality and timeliness of seed delivery. Albania indicated there was a paucity of formal markets, while others, including Cuba, cited the lack of incentives and appropriate legislation. It was widely reported that certified seed production was often unreliable and could not cope adequately with demand. However, various other countries, including Germany, Slovakia and Thailand, reported having highly organized seed production and marketing systems, based on effective national legislation and cooperation between the public and private sectors. NISM data from 44 developing countries indicated that the major constraint to seed availability by farmers resulted more from the lack of sufficient quantities of basic, commercial and registered seed than the availability and cost of the seed itself or inadequate distribution systems. 4.9 Emerging challenges and opportunities Since 1996, several of the issues discussed in the first SoW report have become more significant and new issues have emerged. Among these: globalization of economies has continued to move forward (albeit sometimes unevenly), food and energy prices have risen, organic foods have become more popular and economically attractive and the cultivation of GMcrops has spread widely, even though it has sometimes caused debate. Several of the emerging issues are intertwined with the wide fluctuations in food and energy prices that have impacted both producers and consumers of agricultural products over recent years. The following sections discuss five such issues. These are: sustainable agriculture and ecosystem services, new and underutilized crops, biofuel crops, health and dietary diversity and climate change. 4.9.1 Use of PGRFA for sustainable agriculture and ecosystem services Sustainable agriculture has been defined as agriculture that meets the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Whether high-input systems, reduced external inputs and/or higher input-use efficiency, sustainability takes into account due regard for the conservation of natural resources (biodiversity, soils, water, energy, etc.) and social equity (see Chapter 8). While promotion of sustainable agriculture is the Priority Activity Area 11 of the GPA, few country reports referred specifically to it or to the use of PGRFA to promote or protect ecosystem services, a more recently recognized feature of sustainable agriculture. However, countries did mention various aspects of crop production that have a direct bearing on biodiversity loss, soil erosion, soil salinity, water use and the mitigation of climate change. Many of the key ecosystem services provided by biodiversity sustain agricultural productivity, e.g. nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, pest regulation and pollination. Promoting the healthy functioning of ecosystems helps ensure the resilience of agriculture as it intensifies to meet growing demands. In the context of agricultural production, it is also crucial to understand and optimize the ecosystem goods and services provided by PGRFA and associated biodiversity (e.g. pest and disease organisms, soil biodiversity, pollinators, etc.). This is of particular importance in the face of increasing global challenges, such as feeding expanding populations and climate change. With appropriate incentives and support, farmers can enhance and/ or manage ecosystem services e.g. providing wildlife habitats, better rain infiltration and ultimately help with clean water flows and waste absorption. 111

CHAPTER 4 A number of countries 36 described action taken to encourage agricultural tourism through, for example, the development of low-input agriculture, museum plots, historical gardens, heritage and food festivals and cultural landscapes. These aim, inter alia, to take land out of intensive food crop production, secure the future for heritage crop varieties, maintain levels of agricultural biodiversity, reduce pollution and support education and public awareness. In addition, several country reports 37 indicated a growing interest in organic agriculture systems using crop varieties bred to perform well under low-input conditions. Dominica reported that “The entire island is a ‘green zone’ where organic farming is actively being promoted and conservation measures implemented”. Many country reports stressed the importance of breeding for resistance or tolerance to pests and diseases, salt, drought, cold and heat, both to improve yield security and reduce the need for pesticides, thereby limiting pollution and biodiversity loss. Crops that are genetically engineered for such resistances and which are already grown in many countries, 38 can also contribute to sustainable agriculture by helping reduce requirements for agrochemicals. However, their use is often limited by policies and legislation in producing and/or importing countries. The potential negative impact of the cultivation of genetically engineered crops on PGRFA, especially in their centres of origin and diversity has sometimes been an issue of heated debate. Biodiversity loss has many causes including changes in habitat and climate, invasive species, overexploitation and pollution. Loss of agrobiodiversity can ultimately affect key ecosystem services, including soil erosion control, pest and disease regulation and maintenance of nutrient cycles. Ghana noted the effects of environmental degradation in its country report and Djibouti specifically mentioned the role of PGRFA in halting desert encroachment and helping stabilize the environment. 4.9.2 Underutilized species There are numerous public and private breeding programmes for the world’s major crops; however there is relatively little research on, or improvement of, less-utilized crops and species harvested from the wild, 112 THE SECOND REPORT ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S PGRFA even though they can be very important locally. Such crops often have important nutritional, taste and other properties, or can grow in environments where other crops fail. Initiatives such as “Crops for the Future” and the Global Horticulture Initiative promote research on and the improvement of underutilized crops. 39 The development of new markets for local varieties and diversity-rich products is the subject of Priority Activity Area 14 of the GPA; however it is difficult to gauge the extent to which the objectives outlined in the Area have been accomplished. Several country reports did indicate progress in developing new, diversity-rich products and markets for underutilized species. Uganda, for example, has started processing, packaging and selling Vitamin A enriched sweet potato juice and an antifungal soap made from sweet potato leaves. Uzbekistan reported that “many farmers continue to grow local varieties and that the distribution of (endangered) local varieties is supported.” The Plurinational State of Bolivia reported 38 underutilized species for which various activities were taking place, but little full-scale breeding. Uruguay also cited a large number of underutilized species that were grown in the country for food, beverages, medicines and ornamentals. There were several additional reports from the Americas detailing the use of local fruits in making jams, juices and preserves. There appears to be considerable variation among countries with regard to their perceptions of the availability and size of local and international markets for underutilized crops. Ghana suggested there was a lack of markets. Ecuador and Fiji both indicated that although there was an interest in commercializing local fruits, their future was predicted to be mainly in expanded local consumption. Thailand has researched markets for local and diversity-rich products but concentrated on medicinal and pharmaceutical species rather than food crops. Trinidad and Tobago has developed both local and foreign niche markets and the Netherlands reported on its niche markets for underutilized vegetables. Benin was one of only a few countries that envisaged greatly expanded market opportunities. According to many of the country reports, there is a general lack of awareness of the importance and potential of diversity-rich and local varieties which, if addressed, would do much to encourage greater use.

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    The Second Report on THE STATE OF T

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    Chapter 7 - Access to plant genetic

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    Executive summary �his report des

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    TABLE 1.2 Comparison between the co

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    CHAPTER 1 in national agricultural

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    FIGURE 1.1 Global priority genetic

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    12 CHAPTER 1 AFRICA • Benin Molec

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    14 CHAPTER 1 NEAR EAST effective at

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    CHAPTER 1 comparisons, or use the i

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    CHAPTER 1 even national, germplasm

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    Chapter 7 Access to Plant Genetic R

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    CHAPTER 7 laws, regulations and con

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    170 CHAPTER 7 THE SECOND REPORT ON

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PGRFA TO FOOD S

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    LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT PROVIDED INF

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    LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT PROVIDED INF

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    Annex 2 Regional distribution of co

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    EUROPE 214 ANNEX 2 ASIA AND THE PAC

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    STATUS BY COUNTRY OF NATIONAL LEGIS

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    MAJOR GERMPLASM COLLECTIONS BY CROP

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    THE STATE-OF-THE-ART: METHODOLOGIES

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    Appendix 4 State of diversity of ma

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    APPENDIX 4 some country reports. 6

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    APPENDIX 4 option for perennial tax

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    APPENDIX 4 (wild one-grain wheat, T

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    APPENDIX 4 regeneration of existing

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    APPENDIX 4 An operational comprehen

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    APPENDIX 4 FIGURE A4.2 Global yield

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    APPENDIX 4 Role of crop in sustaina

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    APPENDIX 4 and Myanmar (3 percent).

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    APPENDIX 4 progenitor is the wild s

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    appendiX 4 Ex situ conservation sta

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    APPENDIX 4 Documentation, character

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    APPENDIX 4 The two global chickpea

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    APPENDIX 4 in collections, absence

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    APPENDIX 4 FIGURE A4.5 Global yield

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    338 APPENDIX 4 are also conserved.

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    340 APPENDIX 4 WebPDF/Crop percent2

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    342 APPENDIX 4 90 Op cit. Endnote 2

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    344 APPENDIX 4 159 GCDT. 2007. Glob

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    346 APPENDIX 4 217 Op cit. Endnote

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    348 APPENDIX 4 291 Op cit. Endnote

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    350 APPENDIX 4 366 Ibid. Endnote 35

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    BAAFS Beijing Academy of Agricultur

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    CN Centre Néerlandais (Côte d’I

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    DTRUFC División of Tropical Resear

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    HRIGRU Horticultural Research Inter

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    INIA CARI Centro Regional de Invest

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    IVM Institute of Grape and Wine «M

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    NISM National Information Sharing M

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    REHOVOT Department of Field and Veg

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    SRI Sugar Crop Research Institute,

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    WCMC World Conservation Monitoring

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