Ex situ and on farm conservation of the genetic resources: challenges to promote synergies and complementarities

Laura Santonieri Patricia Goulart Bustamante About the authors


The Brazil historically prioritized the model of ex situ conservation held in cold storage, in vitro conservation and living collections in the field. This type of conservation captures the evolutionary moment in which the collection was made, but plants not continue the evaluation. This characteristic reveals the limitations of this type of conservation to provide faster answers in a time of crisis related to environmental changes, for example. Currently, FAO recognizes that genetic diversity should be maintained not only in genebanks as well as in local agricultural systems, where the participation of farmers is crucial. The ITPGRFA binding, instrument signed by Brazil in 2001, makes this a line of action and research required for all members. But how to implement it? In this paper, we present a reflection on the complementarities between the models of ex situ conservation and on farm, taking the proposed ‘shared management of ex situ collections’ as example of incipient process of construction, the scientific and institutional paths that enable new ways of interaction between traditional farmers and agricultural research institutions, in order to preserve not only the germplasm, but also processes that generate agrobiodiversity.

Genetic resources; Models of conservation; Complementarities ex situ and on farm; Manihot esculenta Crantz; ITPGRFA/FAO

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