Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 337–341

Results of activities to maintain landraces and other material in some European countries in situ before 1945 and what we may learn from them

  • A. C. Zeven
Regular Research Papers


All three recommendations to maintain landraces in European countries, given in 1927: 1. maintenance by ‘traditional’ farmers, 2. maintenance by school personnel and pupils, and 3. maintenance by small agricultural institutions, were disregarded. The present outcome: maintenance by genebanks, which often grow landraces and improved cultivars of one crop next to each other, and which often are part of a large agricultural research institute, was advised against.

The above observation may be of value to those who at present advocate maintenance of landraces by ‘traditional’ farmers in developing countries.

It is recommended that landraces should be collected and maintained in genebanks as this will result in a partial loss of the material, whereas on farm maintenance (in situ conservation) would lead to a complete loss.

Key words

genetic resources history in situ conservation landrace conservation on farm maintenance 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Zeven
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Breeding (I.v.P.)Agricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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