Today’s agriculture is like a huge inverted pyramid. Globally, it rests on a precariously narrow base. Less than 3% of the 250 000 plant varieties available to agriculture are in use today. The top-down system of agricultural research, where farmers are seen merely as recipients of research rather than as participants in it, has contributed to this dependence on a relatively few plant varieties. This trend and the increasing industrialization of agriculture are key factors in what can only be called “genetic erosion.” A new approach to agricultural research and development is needed to conserve agricultural diversity, improve crops, and produce food of quality for all.
IN_FOCUS COLLECTION > SEEDS THAT GIVE: Participatory Plant Breeding