5–8 August 2019. Johannesburg, South Africa. 29 participants from 16 countries of the Southern Africa region and international research organizations launched the project ‘Bridging agriculture and environment: Southern African crop wild relative regional network’. A collaborative endeavour led by Bioversity International and involving five partners (University of Birmingham, SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC), Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia), the project will benefit all the countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region.
The Southern African region hosts a rich diversity of crop wild relatives, with over 1,900 species that are cultivated for food, beverage, forage, fodder, forestry, ornamental, medicinal, environmental and other uses. These species related to crops are vital for the food security and lives of 130 million poor people in the region. Yet, crop wild relatives are threatened, poorly conserved and barely accessible to breeders and farmers who should benefit from their use.
“The launch of the Darwin Initiative Project within the SADC region is a great step towards rescuing the threatened crop wild relatives of the region and making them readily available for use in crop improvement programmes. We are so excited,”Justify Shava, Head of SPGRC.
The project will establish strategic partnerships and networks of protected areas for crop wild relative conservation and use; design mechanisms to enhance the benefits farmers derive from conserving these species; increase access to germplasm, and build gender equality, underpinning Southern African food security and poverty reduction.
For more information, read the project brochure
Source: PAEPARD FEED