Agricultural Biodiversity
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Agricultural Biodiversity
Genetic and species diversity of crops, trees, livestock, fish, pollinators, microbes etc etc
Curated by Luigi Guarino
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Integrating Agroecology and Participatory Action Research (PAR): Lessons from Central America

Integrating Agroecology and Participatory Action Research (PAR): Lessons from Central America | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The last decade has seen an increasing advancement and interest in the integration of agroecology and participatory action research (PAR). This article aims to: (1) analyze the key characteristics and principles of two case studies that integrated PAR and agroecology in Central America; and (2) learn from the lessons offered by these case studies, as well as others from the literature, on how to better integrate PAR and agroecology. Key principles identified for effective PAR agroecological processes include a shared interest in research by partners, a belief in collective power/action, a commitment to participation, practicing humility and establishing trust and accountability. Important lessons to consider for future work include: (1) research processes that did not start as PAR, can evolve into it; (2) farmer/stakeholder participation in setting the research agenda, from the outset, results in higher engagement and enhanced outcomes; (3) having the right partners for the desired outcomes is key; (4) intentional and explicit reflection is an essential component of PAR processes; and (5) cross-generational collaborations are crucial to long-term benefits. Key challenges that confront PAR processes include the need for time and resources over longer periods; the complexity of multi-actor process facilitation; and institutional barriers within the academy and development organizations, which prevent shifting investment towards integrated PAR agroecological processes.
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Use it or lose it – why we should take a stand for agricultural biodiversity | Humanitarian News

Use it or lose it – why we should take a stand for agricultural biodiversity | Humanitarian News | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
On the International Day for Biological Diversity, Ann Tutwiler passes the baton to Pietro Sebastiani, Director General for Development Cooperation, Italy. He explains why agrobiodiversity is the foundation of our food systems, how it contributes greatly to Italy's economy and makes it one of the richest culinary cultures in the world.
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Mapping crops: Are we there yet?

Mapping crops: Are we there yet? | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
I ran across a bunch of nice crop maps on the internet1, so I made a GIF for you (click on it to get it cycling). You’re welcome. I’m reliably informed the source is Monfreda et al. (2008). You can
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Genetic erosion: it’s complicated

From the CIAT blog: Putting true numbers on diversity loss turns out to be a complicated and contested business, with no shortage of strong opinions. One big part of the problem is that there aren’t many good ways to count
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Making value chains work for food and nutrition security of vulnerable populations in East Africa | CIAT

Making value chains work for food and nutrition security of vulnerable populations in East Africa | CIAT | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
RT @StefNeno_CIAT: A5: Making #ValueChains work for #nutrition with for affordable, safe, and nutritious foods https://t.co/INufvorH7U #ags…
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The price of tea in Kenya

The price of tea in Kenya | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
“When countries change their trade policies to protect themselves against price falls, small farmers – particularly those in developing countries – tend to lose profits,” said Will Martin, senior research fellow at IFPRI. “This platform gives governments access to the
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Spotify Web Player - Agrobiodiversity - Luigi Guarino

Updated agrobiodiversity playlist now collaborative https://t.co/MRLi6kVmBz
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Integrative approach needed to protect crop biodiversity, researcher says | Penn State University

Integrative approach needed to protect crop biodiversity, researcher says | Penn State University | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
In a commentary in the April issue of Nature Plants, Karl Zimmerer, professor of geography, argues that a comprehensive approach to protecting the human use of biodiversity of agricultural crops is vital to a sustainable food future that addresses global hunger, increasing populations and changing climate.
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Smaller farms, more crop diversity, more nutrients, mainly

Smaller farms, more crop diversity, more nutrients, mainly | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
There’s a follow-up to that Environment Reports website on farm size and nutrient production that we blogged about a couple of weeks back. The data come mainly (though not exclusively) from a blockbuster inaugural Lancet Planetary Health article. The new
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The Tea Tree Genome Provides Insights into Tea Flavor and Independent Evolution of Caffeine Biosynthesis

The Tea Tree Genome Provides Insights into Tea Flavor and Independent Evolution of Caffeine Biosynthesis | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Tea is the oldest and most popular caffeine-containing beverage in the world, being
consumed by more than 3 billion people across 160 countries. We report the first high-quality
genome of the tea tree Camellia sinensis var. assamica. Our comparative genomic, transcriptomic,
and phytochemical analyses gain novel insights into tea tree biology with an emphasis
on flavor and processing suitability of tea, and global adaptation of tea tree.

Via Jennifer Mach
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Strawberry Wars forever

You know how the strawberry breeders who left the UC Davis programme a couple of years ago and set up a private company sued the university for access to the material they developed? Well, it turns out the university is
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Old school genebank documentation

Old school genebank documentation | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Call me a dinosaur, but I like this sort of stuff. A proper printable catalogue of all the material in a collection, with photographs and all, in this case the 200+ olive varieties in Italy’s Centro di Ricerca per l’Olivicoltura
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Spotify Web Player - Agrobiodiversity - Luigi Guarino

RT @AgroBioDiverse: A Spotify playlist on agricultural biodiversity. Suggestions? https://t.co/MRLi6kVmBz #NowPlaying
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Brassica oleracea (Cabbage) | Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora

@OldTiredGrumpy @AgroBioDiverse @BSBIbotany @Love_plants Most coastal cliff populations (var oleracea) are native, but it can be difficult to tell if escaped or native https://t.co/WJOpKyo8oj
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New CGIAR portfolio off and running

CGIAR launched its new portfolio yesterday, there was a Twitter chat thing, and I wrote a blog post about the Genebanks Platform. Not many people hurt. How genetic improvement and crop intensification improve wellbeing
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Indian nutrition and crop diversity link ready to be explored

Indian nutrition and crop diversity link ready to be explored | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Is there a relationship between levels of stunting in Indian districts… …and crop diversity in their farming systems (blue low, green high)? I have no idea. But I think we should be told.
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Kew helping protect your morning joe

Remember a short blog post from seven years back saying how Ethiopia had just protected some wild coffee forests? We Nibbled yesterday a UN press release saying that a Biosphere Reserve had been created in Ethiopia to protect wild coffee.
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Approaches to reduce zinc and iron deficits in food systems - Gregory &al (2017) - Global Food Sec

Approaches to reduce zinc and iron deficits in food systems - Gregory &al (2017) - Global Food Sec | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

There is a deficit of mineral micronutrients in global food systems [which leads to] ‘hidden hunger’, especially in the global south. This review focuses on zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe), whose entry into food systems depends primarily on soil and crop factors. 


Approaches to increase dietary supplies of Zn and Fe include: (1) supplementation, (2) food fortification, (3) dietary diversification, and (4) crop biofortification, including breeding and fertilizer-based approaches. 


Supply-based estimates indicate that Zn deficiency might be more widespread than Fe deficiency in sub-Saharan Africa, although there are major knowledge gaps at an individual biomarker level. 


Recent analytical advances, including the use of stable isotopes of Zn and Fe, can play an increasing role in improving our understanding of the movement of micronutrients in food systems, and thereby help to reduce the immense human cost of ‘hidden hunger’.


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2017.03.003



Via Alexander J. Stein
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Nutrition toolkit all set to make agriculture oh so sensitive

Nutrition toolkit all set to make agriculture oh so sensitive | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
FAO’s Toolkit on Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems is out. Without a huge amount of fanfare, as far as I can tell, which is a bit surprising. Anyway, good to see agrobiodiversity properly highlighted in multiple places, including as an
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With heirloom varieties, Grant Gibbs takes a unique slice of the apple market pie

With heirloom varieties, Grant Gibbs takes a unique slice of the apple market pie | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

"Of the 2500 varieties of apples cultivated in the USA only a small percentage are suited for cultivation in Washington. Eight varieties account for 97% of the apples produced in the state. Red delicious is the most popular at 34% of the market share followed by Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Cripps Pink (Pink Lady), Honeycrisp and Braeburn (http://bestapples.com/washington-orchards/crop-facts/)."

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Mapping the Indian collection

Mapping the Indian collection | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Always happens this way. No sooner do I find something interesting, that something similar turns up. Case in point my post last week on the Seedlot Selection Tool. It was just a few hours after I happened across the SST
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Citrus in a nutshell

Citrus in a nutshell | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Look, I suppose I could try and explain that recent Citrus phylogeny paper in Annals of Botany. But am I really likely to do better than this graphic? I didn’t think so. Important to know what’s what. But if all
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Deconstructing restoration

Just to remind ourselves that conserved seeds are not just there to be used in breeding, let us “deconstruct symbolic promises of fertility and rebirth carried by domesticated seeds and look at the reality of the seeds that have never
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Targeting germplasm in an age of climate change

Targeting germplasm in an age of climate change | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Let me expand a little on yesterdays’s teaser about the Seedlot Selection Tool. Say you have an accession of maize, for example, collected 20 years ago, for example, somewhere in the middle the NW zone of Mexico defined by Orozco-Ramírez,
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Saving the world

A long and almost uncrossable distance separates fundamental plant research carried out predominantly in rich countries, and the production of better crops in the fields of poor farmers from developing regions.
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