Participatory landrace selection for on-farm conservation: an example from the central valleys of Oaxaca México
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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.
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