December 19th, 2012 | Publications
Over the last two decades a substantial body of information has developed on the continuing maintenance and use of traditional crop varieties by small-scale farmers around the world. Farmers appear to find that crop biodiversity, in the form of traditional varieties of both major staples and minor crops, remains important to their livelihoods, despite earlier expectations that these varieties would rapidly disappear from production systems. In these circumstances it seems important, not only to understand better the nature and contribution of traditional varieties to the production strategies of rural communities around the world, but also ways in which they are maintained and managed. This can help in the development of ways of improving the use of these varieties and their contribution to rural livelihoods.