Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 401–416 | Cite as

Participatory landrace selection for on-farm conservation: An example from the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico

  • Mauricio R. Bellon
  • Julien Berthaud
  • Melinda Smale
  • José Alfonso Aguirre
  • Suketoshi Taba
  • Flavio Aragón
  • Jaime Díaz
  • Humberto Castro


On-farm conservation is recognized as a key component of a comprehensive strategy to conserve crop genetic resources. A fundamental problem faced by any on-farm conservation project is the identification of crop populations on which efforts should be focused. This paper describes a method to identify a subset of landraces for further conservation efforts from a larger collection representing the diversity found in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico. Mexico is a center of origin and diversity for maize (Zea mays L.). The 17 landraces selected from an initial collection of 152 satisfy two criteria. First, they represent the diversity present in the larger collection. Second, they appear to serve the interests of farmers in the region. Data for applying the method were elicited through participatory as well as conventional techniques. They incorporate the complementary perspectives of both men and women members of farm households, and of plant breeders and social scientists.

Farmer participation Landraces Maize (Zea mays L.) Mexico Oaxaca On-farm conservation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mauricio R. Bellon
    • 1
  • Julien Berthaud
    • 1
    • 2
  • Melinda Smale
    • 1
    • 3
  • José Alfonso Aguirre
    • 4
  • Suketoshi Taba
    • 1
  • Flavio Aragón
    • 5
  • Jaime Díaz
    • 1
  • Humberto Castro
    • 5
  1. 1.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)MexicoMexico
  2. 2.Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)France
  3. 3.International Plant Genetic Resources InstituteRomeItaly
  4. 4.Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP)CelayaMexico
  5. 5.Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Campo Experimental Valles Centrales, Oaxaca, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP), ManuelOaxacaMexico

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