Farmers and Plant Breeding: Current Approaches and Perspectives

New York/Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2019, 332 p.

This book presents the history of, and current approaches to, farmer-breeder collaboration in plant breeding, situating this work in the context of sustainable food systems, as well as national and international policy and law regimes.

Plant breeding is essential to food production, climate-change adaptation and sustainable development. This book brings together experienced practitioners and researchers involved in collaborative breeding programmes across a diversity of crops and agro-ecologies around the world. Case studies include collaborative sorghum and pearl millet breeding for water-stressed environments in West Africa, participatory rice breeding for intensive rice farming in the Mekong Delta, and evolutionary participatory quinoa breeding for organic agriculture in North America. While outlining the challenges, the volume also highlights the positive impacts, such as yield increases, farmers’ empowerment in the innovation and development processes, contributions to maintenance of crop genetic diversity and adaptation to climate change. This collection offers a range of perspectives on enabling conditions for farmer–breeder collaboration in plant breeding in relation to biodiversity agreements such as the Plant Treaty, trade agreements and related intellectual property rights (IPR) regimes, and national seed policies and laws.

Relevant to a wide audience, including practitioners with experience in plant breeding and management of crop genetic resources and those with a broader interest in agriculture and development, as well as students of international cooperation and development, this volume is a timely addition to the literature.

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