On-farm Conservation and Management Working Group

Chair: Valeria Negri

View CV

Working Group activities and related events

July 2017
Farmer’s Pride project accepted
The proposal submitted by the Wild Species Conservation in Genetic Reserves Working Group and the On-farm Conservation and Management Working Group coordinating team (with key additional partners) for H2020 SFS 04 2017 was successful. The project formally starts on  the 1st November 2017 and will run for 3 years.

Brief summary:
The overarching objective of Farmer’s Pride is to establish a network of stakeholders and conservation sites that effectively coordinates conservation actions to safeguard the wealth of Europe’s in situ plant genetic resources (PGR) and integrates the user community to maximize their sustainable use. Specifically, to address the challenge and scope of the SFS-04-2017 work programme, Farmer’s Pride will: a) build relationships between existing diverse PGR stakeholder networks, and where necessary create new partnerships to establish a unified network of stakeholders involved in PGR conservation and sustainable use; b) enhance existing knowledge of European landrace and crop wild relative genetic diversity and showcase how it can be effectively secured and managed; c) use social science and economic tools to establish the value of in situ PGR populations and individual traits, as well as a cost effective means of conserving them; d) use predictive characterization methods to identify valuable traits in in situ PGR populations, targeting those most vital for satisfying future agricultural and market needs; e) establish a mechanism to facilitate the flow of plant genetic material from in situ populations to the user community, both directly and via ex situ collections; f) develop and establish a durable governance and resourcing structure for the European network of in situ PGR conservation sites and stakeholders; g) promote public awareness of the value of PGR for agriculture and consumers; and h) design and implement a network of European sites and stakeholders that conserves the breadth of PGR diversity found in situ. Through these activities, Farmer’s Pride will result in significant strengthening of European capacities for the conservation, management and sustainable use of in situ PGR as a foundation for increased competitiveness in the farming and breeding sectors, and ultimately for long-term food and nutritional security in Europe.

May 2017
The  “ECPGR Concept for on-farm conservation and management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture” (723 KB) has been published, after approval from the Steering Committee in January 2017.

January 2017
A small kick-off meeting of the project "LINKAGES" was held on 12 January 2017 at Bioversity International, Maccarese, Italy. [more info]

May 2016
The project on “Assessing linkages between genebanks and direct users (LINKAGES)”, submitted by the On-farm Conservation and Management Working Group and Documentation and Information Working Group, for funding under the third call of the ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme, was selected by the Executive Committee.

May 2016
The book  “Enhancing Crop Genepool use: Capturing Wild Relative and Landrace Diversity for Crop Improvementedited by N Maxted, University of Birmingham, UK, M Dulloo, FAO, Italy, B Ford-Lloyd, University of Birmingham, UK, has recently been published and is now available from the following website:  http://www.cabi.org/bookshop/book/9781780646138.  A discount of 20% will be granted to all ECPGR WG members by using the discount code CCECG20.

2015

  • A revised draft of the “ECPGR Concept for on-farm conservation and management of PGRFA diversity in Europe” was submitted to the ECPGR Executive Committee at the beginning of October 2015 by the appointed Task Force. The concept was welcomed as a background paper, but was not considered  suitable for approval as such, owing to its length and structure.  The Secretariat was asked to develop a more concise document, based on the paper received from the Task Force. 
  • A few members of the Task Force appointed to develop a concept on “On-farm management and conservation of landraces” convened together with Steering Committee and Executive Committee representatives and the Secretariat in Maccarese, 10-11 March 2015. Points of criticism that had been raised on the draft concept were discussed and an agreement was reached, that the concept should be re-drafted, on the basis of a  new outline (12 KB). The next version of an “ECPGR concept for on-farm management and conservation of PGRFA” is expected to be prepared by 30 September 2015 for endorsement by the Steering Committee. [more info]

2014

Previous years

Past events [link to ECPGR archive]

Background information

Grain legumes (Photo: V. Kirian)

During the Eleventh Steering Committee meeting (Bosnia and Herzegovina, September 2008) it was recognized that the existing On-farm Conservation and Management Task Force has long-term plans of action and therefore deserved the status of “Working Group". The Task Force was therefore converted into WG.

What is a landrace?
“A landrace is a dynamic population(s) of a cultivated plant that has historical origin, distinct identity and lacks formal crop improvement, as well as often being genetically diverse, locally adapted and associated with traditional farming systems.”
(From: Camacho Villa, T.C., N. Maxted, M.A. Scholten and B.V. Ford-Lloyd. 2005. Defining and identifying crop landraces. Plant genetic resources: characterization and utilization 3(3):373–384).

“A landrace of a seed-propagated crop can be defined as a variable population, which is identifiable and usually has a local name. It lacks “formal” crop improvement, is characterized by a specific adaptation to the environmental conditions of the area of cultivation (tolerant to the biotic and abiotic stresses of that area) and is closely associated with the traditional uses, knowledge, habits, dialects, and celebrations of the people who developed and continue to grow it”.
(Proposed by V. Negri, combining several other definitions).