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plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

STATE OF DIVERSITY OF

STATE OF DIVERSITY OF MAJOR AND MINOR CROPS in vitro. The in vitro collections are used for safety duplication of the field collections and for rapid multiplication and dissemination of disease-free planting material. About 13 national collections also have international recognition and several contribute to the long-term conservation goals of the ITC global collection. 219 Two cryopreservation protocols are available for a range of banana cultivar groups and the ITC is implementing a program for cryopreserving its entire collection as a more cost-effective alternative for backup. 220 Genetic erosion and vulnerability A large proportion of national collections of banana is deteriorating due to management limitations. 221 Hurricane impacts in Grenada have resulted in severe losses to banana production, which is one of the top three major traditional crops. Gaps and priorities It is reported in Chapter 3 that one of the best estimates of genepool coverage is available for banana and plantain. About 300 to 400 key cultivars are known to be missing from the ITC including 20 plantains from Africa, 50 Callimusa from Borneo, 20 to 30 M. balbisiana and 20 other types from India and China, 10 accessions from Myanmar, 40 wild types from Thailand and Indonesia, and up to 100 wild types from the Pacific. Wild species account for about 7 percent of the collections and improved varieties amount to about 19 percent. 222 New wild species and varieties continue to be described and are inadequately represented in collections. Threats posed by habitat destruction and the replacement or loss of traditional cultivars intensify the urgency for collection and conservation efforts. There is a need for larger quantities of virus-indexed material within regions. 223 Safety duplication Field collections are safety duplicated with in vitro collections. 224 Utilization Better descriptor and characterization information is a priority to facilitate use of banana germplasm. In addition, development and implementation of cryopreservation of protocols for banana accessions would make them more available for use. 225 While diversity is demanded by researchers and growers, many national collections and large parts of major collections are underutilized. For example, 70 percent of the ITC collection have not been requested and remain unused. A partial reason is inadequate documentation of holdings. 226 Most national collections regularly or occasionally exchange germplasm with the ITC and since its establishment the ITC has distributed more than 60 000 germplasm samples of 450 accessions to 88 countries. Accessions are supplied without fee, but a maximum of only five plants is made available per accession. Some national and regional collections also distribute to international users. Most national collections are directly associated with breeding initiatives and many provide material directly to farmers. 227 A4.3 State of diversity of minor crops A4.3.1 State of millet genetic resources Since 1996, the yield of millets has increased only slightly (Figure A4.1). Millets were grown over a harvested area of 35 million hectares with a global production of 33 million tonnes (2008). 228 They are often dual-purpose crops (human consumption and animal feed) and are important staple foods in Africa and India. The highest producers in 2008 were India (32 percent of global production), Nigeria (25 percent), Niger (11 percent), China (5 percent), Burkina Faso (4 percent), and Mali (3 percent). 229 Millets include the major millet, pearl millet (Pennisetum spp.), and minor millets such as finger millet (Eleusine coracana), Japanese barnyard millet (Echinochloa frumentacea), common or proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), and foxtail millet (Setaria italica). 327

appendiX 4 Ex situ conservation status The primary global collection of pearl millet is at ICRISAT with 33 percent of the world’s approximately 65 400 genebank accessions. 230 The ICGR-CAAS in China maintains 56 percent of the world’s approximately 46 600 accessions of Setaria. The Indian National Bureau for Plant Genetic Resources maintains the largest Eleusine collection with 27 percent of the world’s approximately 35,400 accessions. The National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences in Japan maintains the largest Panicum collection with 33 percent of the world’s approximately 17 600 genebank accessions. ICRISAT conserves 10 193 accessions of the six small millet species. 231 Genetic erosion and vulnerability A number of studies and reports call attention to reduction in diversity of farmers’ varieties and landraces in cultivation: traditional pearl millet varieties in Niger decreased as improved varieties were adopted by farmers; 232 absence of an early warning system threatens the diversity of indigenous cultivation of millets; 233 comparison of the number of landraces of finger millet found now in cultivation compared with that from 10 years ago showed serious genetic erosion had occurred; 234 there has been a gradual disappearance of landraces of native cultivated millets such as Paspalum scrobiculatum, Setaria italica, and Panicum miliare; 235 rice is replacing millet; 236 and highyielding modern varieties of several millet species are replacing tradition varieties of those millets. 237 Gaps and priorities Identification of gaps in the germplasm collections is necessary to achieve completeness of the collections and direct exploration for additional accessions. For pearl millet, geographical assessment shows gaps in Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania and Nigeria. Safety duplication A total of 8 050 pearl millet accessions were conserved as a safety backup in the SGSV, Norway and the 328 The second reporT on The sTaTe of The World’s pGrfa remaining accessions will be transferred in the near future. ICRISAT has proposed to deposit the entire collection of small millet at the SGSV and to date has sent 6 400 accessions. 238 Documentation, characterization and evaluation Passport, characterization, inventory and distribution databases are being maintained for the pearl millet and small millets collections at ICRISAT. 239 Utilization In order to enhance the utilization of pearl millet germplasm, core 240 and mini-core collections have been developed. Due to the reduced size, the core and the mini-core sets have been evaluated and characterized precisely and useful trait-specific accessions have been identified for use in breeding programmes to develop cultivars with a broad genetic base. The core and mini-core collections of finger millet and foxtail millet 241 have been constituted at ICRISAT and trait-specific germplasm identified for early maturity, high yield, Fe (iron), Zn (zinc), Ca (calcium) and protein contents and for tolerance to drought and salinity. a4.3.2 state of root and tuber crop genetic resources, other than cassava, potato and sweet potato Since 1996, the yield of roots and tubers other than the aforementioned, treated separately, appeared to have increased through 2006; a drop in yield in 2007 was partially recovered the following year (Figure A4.2). Roots and tubers, other than cassava, potato, and sweet potato, 242 were grown in 2008 over a harvested area of 8 million hectares with global production of 72 million tonnes. 243 The seven largest producers in 2008 were Nigeria (with 56 percent of global production), Côte d’Ivoire (10 percent), Ghana and Ethiopia (each with 7 percent), and Benin, China and Cameroon (with 2 percent each). Taro (Colocasia esculenta) and yam (species of Dioscorea) account for the bulk of this miscellany

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    LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT PROVIDED INF

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