The deployment and management of genetic diversity in agroecosystems [chapter]

S. D. Sastrapradja, P. Balakhrishna
Managing plant genetic diversity. Proceedings of an international conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 12-16 June 2000  
The fact that Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) are the very raw materials for crop improvement is generally understood by agriculturists as well as biologists in both developed and developing countries. They are also aware that recently human civilization has undergone rapid change which causes great impacts on the PGR existence. Ways and means to conserve PGR for crop improvement have been sought to ensure their continuous availability. Unfortunately, however, to policy makers in many Vavilovian
more » ... enters whose commitment for PGR conservation is a determinant factor to its implementation, the importance of such resources is too abstract and hard to grasp. As early as 1936 Harlan and Martini noted that crop germplasm in Vavilovian Centers were vulnerable to loss due to technological and economic change. But not until late 1960 the global efforts to collecting and then conserving genetic resources began in a more concerted way. At the same time the Green Revolution started its way to introducing High Yielding Varieties of major crops (rice, corn, and wheat) to developing worlds. With the introduction of the Green Revolution many local varieties of these crops were replaced. A group of concerned scientists assisted FAO to take an initiative for a global movement to conserve them (Frankel and Bennet, 1970). In 1983 FAO established an intergovernmental forum, i.e., the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources which is now becomes The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. This is a permanent body which monitors the implementation of the International Undertaking, a non-binding agreement on PGR among a number of FAO members.
doi:10.1079/9780851995229.0121 fatcat:6qdsck35v5gihp2yemyp3bjb3e