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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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Locating Crop Diversity in the Contemporary World

Locating Crop Diversity in the Contemporary World

(p.256) 11 Locating Crop Diversity in the Contemporary World
Farmers' Bounty

Stephen B. Brush

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the future of crop diversity in a world with eleven billion people, reading case histories of crop diversity in developed societies as optimistic signs for the future of diversity elsewhere. The survival of crop diversity due to partial adoption and consumer demand for specialized crops provides the lesson that conservation can succeed by adding incremental value to landraces in selected environments and farming systems rather than posing landraces as an alternative to modern crops for all farmers. The chapter emphasizes that conservation of crops should follow the pattern of wildlife conservation to target key areas and populations. It also reveals that in situ conservation will not succeed as a policy for an entire agricultural sector because there are too many interests at stake in agricultural intensification—consumers, governments, agricultural scientists, and farmers.

Keywords:   crop diversity, conservation, farming systems, farmers, agricultural scientists

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