In the actual climate change scenario, in situ conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture can significantly contribute broadening the diversity of our food system as well as increasing its resilience; nevertheless, landrace cultivation has been dramatically reduced in the last decades all over Europe. One of the most effective approaches to counteract the loss of landrace diversity in situ is facilitating its use. Aims of this study were to (i) describe how in situ maintenance of landraces occurs in different agro-environmental conditions in Europe and (ii) identify the main factors influencing landrace added values and accessibility as means to increase their adoption by new farmers. To the purpose, a collection of 95 case studies of both garden and open field landraces maintained in situ was analysed. A first description was obtained by classifying the information into 18 purposely defined categories. Data on landraces added values and accessibility were further transformed into weighted variables; the derived quantitative scores were then used as dependent variables in univariate and multivariate analyses. Results showed that farmers alone are still the main actors maintaining landraces in situ across different European biogeographical regions, mainly carrying out their activity under organic or low-input conditions, often in marginal areas. Results of the multivariate analysis showed that (i) type of actor involved in the multiplication, (ii) the main use of the product and (iii) presence of promotion actions significantly affect garden landraces added value and accessibility; presence of promotion actions was the only factor affecting added value of open field entries. Evidence arising from this work can contribute to the establishment of a fruitful ground of discussion for future European policies and strategies to protect and increase landrace use.

Landrace added value and accessibility in Europe: what a collection of case studies tells us

Caproni L.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2021

Abstract

In the actual climate change scenario, in situ conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture can significantly contribute broadening the diversity of our food system as well as increasing its resilience; nevertheless, landrace cultivation has been dramatically reduced in the last decades all over Europe. One of the most effective approaches to counteract the loss of landrace diversity in situ is facilitating its use. Aims of this study were to (i) describe how in situ maintenance of landraces occurs in different agro-environmental conditions in Europe and (ii) identify the main factors influencing landrace added values and accessibility as means to increase their adoption by new farmers. To the purpose, a collection of 95 case studies of both garden and open field landraces maintained in situ was analysed. A first description was obtained by classifying the information into 18 purposely defined categories. Data on landraces added values and accessibility were further transformed into weighted variables; the derived quantitative scores were then used as dependent variables in univariate and multivariate analyses. Results showed that farmers alone are still the main actors maintaining landraces in situ across different European biogeographical regions, mainly carrying out their activity under organic or low-input conditions, often in marginal areas. Results of the multivariate analysis showed that (i) type of actor involved in the multiplication, (ii) the main use of the product and (iii) presence of promotion actions significantly affect garden landraces added value and accessibility; presence of promotion actions was the only factor affecting added value of open field entries. Evidence arising from this work can contribute to the establishment of a fruitful ground of discussion for future European policies and strategies to protect and increase landrace use.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/549471
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