Farmer Innovation in Tigray, Ethiopia

In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 146-155.

Specifically adapted traditional varieties are still in use in Tigray, Ethiopia, and traditional knowledge in varietal selection is practised by farmers. This chapter about barley and farmer innovation shows how the traditions regarding cultivation, preparation and storage can be kept alive and expanded through in situ conservation, active use and innovation. In addition, the chapter illustrates the potential impact of breeding efforts and how the benefits from innovations based on crop genetic resources and traditional knowledge can be shared. The chapter also discusses how such local knowledge and practices can be strengthened and added to through collaborative breeding projects with participation from both local farmers and researchers. By showing the link that exists between benefit sharing and the maintenance of traditional knowledge, the chapter also demonstrates how the various aspects of Farmers’ Rights can be jointly realised.

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