Plant Genetic Resources In Agriculture

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The ever increasing demand for food and other basic needs has put a lot of pressure on the plant genetic resources (PGR) and diversity particularly in agricultural sector in terms of addressing the accompanied challenges associated with increasing crop productivity. The utilization of PGR in agriculture has not only brought about profound changes in the crop productivity and quality, but has also opened up newer and unforeseen potential vistas including improvement of novel traits by domestication, manipulating plant architecture and molecular farming. Challenges like biotic and abiotic stresses, gradually reducing crop productivity and environmental safety, demand for newer products have been constantly addressed successfully in terms of phytoneutraceuticals,…show more content…
PGR are the pillars upon which world food security depends especially with expanding global population (Ogwu et al. 2014). PGR include materials considered of systematic importance and applicable in cytogenetic, phylogenetic, evolutionary biology, physiological, biochemical, pathological and ecological research and breeding. They encompass all cultivated crops and those of little to no agricultural value as well as their weedy and wild relatives (Ulukan 2011). The growing global demand for food and bio-based renewable materials, such as bio-fuels, is changing the conditions for PGR development and bio-resource production worldwide. Many developing countries are to a large degree agrarian and the agricultural sector contributing more than 40 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). To feed a growing population will be a great challenge in many parts of the world, but the problems are worst in sub-Saharan Africa, where there has been stagnation and even decline in the agricultural productivity of small-scale…show more content…
Moreover, varieties are highly mixed with each other and it is very difficult to differentiate them. This has been mainly because of the expansion of the use of high yielding species and varieties in commercial agriculture, climatic factors, pests and diseases. The inappropriate agrarian policies by government and development activities and poverty increase the migration of indigenous youth. The single most important reason for genetic erosion is the replacement of traditional varieties with modern, HYVs, and genetically uniform ones (Rosendal 1995). Although seed and gene banks play important role in conserving and maintaining the varieties, however, FAO (1998) reported that widespread genetic erosion is also taking place, perhaps even many, seed bank and gene banks, as a result of poor management, poor maintenance and scarce financial resources as well as limited institutional

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