In 2019, nearly 690 million people were hungry, indicating that the achievement of Zero Hunger by 2030 is not on-track. The enhanced conservation and use of crop diversity, which demonstrably improves farm productivity and hence food security and nutrition, could be one of the solutions to this problem. The broadening of the inter- and intra-specific diversity of crops contributes to dietary diversification and nutrition and improves the resilience of production systems to shocks, especially the biotic and abiotic stresses attributed to climate change. Examples of successful interventions that resulted in enhanced on-farm crop diversity are provided. Relevant tools and guidelines to strengthen national capacities for the enhanced on-farm management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are also highlighted. Guidance, based primarily on the Second Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, is presented to enable the conservation of farmers’ varieties/landraces, their genetic improvement and seed delivery systems; promote their cultivation, consumption and marketing; develop and implement policies; foster partnerships and strengthen requisite institutional and human capacities. Finally, the case is made for research and development, including using modern techniques, to achieve these aims.
Part of the book: Landraces