Fördersumme: 581.310 Euro
Forschungszweck: Angewandte Forschung
The centres of origin of important food crops, called Vavilov centres, are considered to be crucial sources of genetic diversity for present and future crop-breeding programmes and thus for human food safety worldwide. Traditional crop varieties and crop wild relatives are often highly endemic, ecologically rare, and most of them still survive in vulnerable ecosystems in developing countries. These genetic resources, however, are at risk as never before. In agriculture, the widespread adoption of a few improved varieties has narrowed the genetic base of important food crops and led to the disappearance of hundreds of landraces. Conserving and using plant genetic diversity is vital in meeting the world's future development needs. Given the importance of genetic resources for food safety, and the fact that centres of origin are mainly located in developing countries, we are convinced that it is absolutely necessary to link European researchers with scientists from these world regions that otherwise do have little or no resources to exchange their research results.