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Farmers' BountyLocating Crop Diversity in the Contemporary World$
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Stephen B. Brush

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100495

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100495.001.0001

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Encountering Crop Diversity

Encountering Crop Diversity

(p.1) 1 Encountering Crop Diversity
Farmers' Bounty

Stephen B. Brush

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on crop diversity and explains how human ecology came to the study of it. The diversity of crops is testimony to individual and collective creativity. The myriad forms of simple grains, fruits, and tubers are a singular human accomplishment and measure of social identity. The chapter reveals that the issue of crop diversity has emerged as an important policy area with implications for agricultural development, environmental protection, resource conservation, and the rights of cultural minorities and poor farmers. It also reveals that crop diversity is now perceived as a fundamental resource for crop improvement in modern agriculture, one which has become more valuable because of record population numbers, the exodus from agriculture, and the threat of climate change.

Keywords:   crop diversity, human ecology, grains, agricultural development, resource conservation

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