A primary goal of agricultural research is to develop technology that will enable the world's farmers to produce enough food in a manner that is sustainable and economically viable. Genes In the Field: On-Farm Conservation of Crop Diversity is a comprehensive collection of papers focusing on agricultural conservation and diversity issues throughout the world.
Genetic diversity is important to individual farmers and farming communities and to the agricultural community in general. Recently, regional and local farm seed variety has been reduced because of increased population, agricultural science and technology and the integration of the world's many diverse cultures. Because of this, diversity on individual farms across wide regions is threatened by modern crop varieties that have been bred for broad adaptation, resistance to disease, and other risk factors such as their ability to better use water, fertilizer, and higher yields.
The views expressed reflect the many concerns in farm conservation. The concern of the farmers to maintain production levels and income often seems incompatible with those whose focus is on the maintenance of viable and sustainable ecosystems and maintaining genetic diversity. Exploring and understanding these different concerns is an essential starting point for answering some of the key questions about the implementation of "on farm" conservation and the role of local cultivators in sustainable development.
This comprehensive book addresses current and key issues associated with genetic diversity. Contributions to this book have been solicited with the aim of solidifying and extending our knowledge of what is taking place - and what could take place - in the field.