Target oriented organic plant breeding

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Target oriented organic plant breeding

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1. Target oriented organic plant breeding Géza Kovács Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

2. Conventional (Industrial) vs. Organic Agriculture

3. So What is Organic Agriculture? It means growing crops and livestock in ways that meet the following objectives simultaneously: Environmental conservation Social benefits to the farm family and community Economic profit

4. The need for organic plant breeding The prevailing opinion on farming systems is that there should be respect for values such as sustainability, biodiversity, regional development and multi-functionality. Plant breeding concerns, however, are a bottleneck in the further development of organic agriculture.

5. The need for organic plant breeding Currently, organic farmers largely depend on varieties supplied by conventional plant breeders, even though organic farming conditions demand varieties with different characteristics than conventional varieties. Another problem is that conventional breeders are increasingly using gene technology to produce new, genetically modified varieties which are not allowed in organic farming

6. The need for organic plant breeding Conventional varieties are breed to tolerate monoculture, adapt to high input conditions, and are resistant against widely used synthetic chemicals (such as herbicides, fungicides etc.) Continued dependence on conventional breeding systems is therefore undesirable.

7. Advantages of organic breeding The organic sector should be independent (from the multinational seed companies) The organic varieties are adapted to the organic farm conditions The organic varieties are multifunctional, minimazing the environmental pollution

8. Recent situation of organic seed production

9. Organic Plant Breeding and Multiplication Draft Standard General Principles The organic breeding of new varieties shall take into consideration values as sustainability, natural reproductive ability, agro-biodiversity and regional development. Varieties obtained by organic breeding shall fit into the system of organic farming and allow the producers to get satisfying crops with high quality. Breeding methods and materials shall be as harmless as possible for the environment and shall take care of the natural resources The plant breeding and variety development is sustainable, diverse, relies on natural reproductive ability and maintains genetic lines, methods shall respect natural species authenticity.

10. Recommendation Breeders should use breeding methods that are suitable for organic farming All steps of propagation and multiplication practices should be under certified organic management according to the „best practice” Breeding methods and materials should minimize the use and depletion of natural resources.

11. Organically produced seeds Organic seed and plant materials capable of satisfying the requirements of organic farming have to be propagated under organic management for one generation, in the case of annuals, and for perennials, two growing periods, or 18 months, whichever is the longer, prior to being certified as organic seed and plant material.

12. Transition from conventional to organic varieties An existing variety is organic after at least 3 years of maintenance under organic management. To be labeled as an organic variety, any existing variety, except those obtained by methods of genetic modification, may be certified as „organic” after at least 3 years of maintenance (breeding) under organic management.

13. Recommendation regarding the breeding techniques

14. Target oriented breeding Breeding for local or regional consumption 27 % of the organic products sold in small regions To solve their organic seed and organic variety production needs close cooperation between farmers and breeders It can be solved only with the use of participatory plant breeding techniques Breeding for organic market Organic products sold in 73% of mainstream supermarkets Needs large scale production based on high quality varieties with good general adaptability

23. Possible solution On farm breeding using PPB and evolutionary plant breeding methods For local or regional markets Breeding all crops at the same closed cycle in an already established organic breeding nursery For large scale production systems

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