Domestication and improvement of tropical crops for multi-functional farming systems

Leakey, R.R.B, Nevenimo, T., Moxon, J., Pauku, R., Tate, H, Page, T., and Cornelius, J. (2009) Domestication and improvement of tropical crops for multi-functional farming systems. In: Proceedings of 14th Australasian Plant Breeding Conference and 11th SABRAO Congress. pp. 1-23. From: 14th APBC/11th SABRAO Congress, 10-13 August 2009, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Download (196kB)
View at Publisher Website:


The increasing loss of forest resources in tropical countries leaves farmers without the food and other products that used to be gathered locally. This coupled with land degradation creates a poverty trap from which it is difficult for smallholder farmers to escape. To address these problems, the domestication of new perennial crops from traditionally important indigenous trees is seen as a way to diversify farming systems making them more sustainable through the provision of a range of products and environmental services. This enriches existing mixed tree/crop farming systems and creates new ones that are more productive and enhance the livelihoods of poor households. A participatory approach to tree domestication is used to ensure that farmers' needs are met. Elite trees are selected on the basis of 'ideotypes' derived from quantitative data of the tree-to-tree variation in many commercially important traits. Genetically superior cultivars are then developed using simple techniques of vegetative propagation. In parallel with domestication, markets are being developed for the products from these new crops so that integrated mixtures of food crops and agroforestry trees can generate income, as well as social and environmental benefits. This approach is thus in accord with the findings of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), which has recently identified the need for agriculture to be more multi-functional and to simultaneously achieve economic, social and environmentally sustainability by restoring:- biological resources and natural capital (soil fertility, water, forests, etc); livelihoods (nutrition, health, culture, equity, income) and agroecological processes (nutrient and water cycles, pest and disease control, etc.).

Item ID: 23329
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
Keywords: participatory domestication, vegetative propagation, ideotype, agroforestry, sustainable rural development
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 23:51
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070507 Tree Improvement (Selection and Breeding) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8201 Forestry > 820199 Forestry not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 544
Last 12 Months: 14
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page