Article

Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 421-434

First online:

The In Situ Conservation of Rice Plant Genetic Diversity: A Case Study from a Philippine Barangay

  • David CarpenterAffiliated withHuman Ecology Program, School of Resources, Environment and Society, Australian National University Email author 

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Abstract

The conservation of rice plant genetic diversity is particularly important for resource-poor farmers in economically marginal areas of the Philippines. This paper discusses the state of rice plant genetic diversity in the Philippines and the reasons behind the decrease in diversity witnessed over the last 30 years. A case study describes the in situ management of rice plant genetic diversity by resource-poor farmers from the Philippine island of Bohol, throughout the traditional, green revolution, and post-green revolution periods. This analysis demonstrates that farmers tend to favor genetically heterogeneous varieties that adapt to varied environments. The case study also reviews an NGO-sponsored agricultural biodiversity project that demonstrates that rice plant genetic diversity can be increased by empowering farmers – providing them with access to varieties, knowledge of varietal trials, varietal selection, and varietal breeding, as well as increasing the linkages they have with other farmers and institutions.

Keywords

Green revolution Philippines Post-green revolution Rice diversity Rice farming Varietal selection Varietal trials