Economic Botany

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 86–96 | Cite as

In situ conservation of crop genetic resources through maintenance of traditional farming systems

  • Miguel A. Altieri
  • Laura Merrick


A strategy is suggested for in situ conservation of crop genetic resources whereby conservation efforts are linked to rural development projects in Third World countries. We describe development projects that emphasize preservation of traditional farming systems and succeed in sustaining production by relying on the maintenance of biological and genetic diversity in these systems. Basing agricultural development efforts on indigenous knowledge, technology, and social organization can provide important guidelines for the design of cropping systems that allow lowincome farmers to produce subsistence and cash crops without dependence on external inputs and seed supplies. By incorporating landraces and wild relatives of crops into these cropping systems, major achievements in the conservation of crop genetic resources can be obtained.


Genetic Resource Economic Botany Wild Relative Jojoba Plant Genetic Resource 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel A. Altieri
    • 1
  • Laura Merrick
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Biological ControlUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley
  2. 2.L. H. Bailey HortoriumCornell UniversityIthaca
  3. 3.Department of Vegetable CropsUniversity of CaliforniaDavis

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