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Plant genetic diversity is crucial to the breeding of food crops and is therefore a central precondition for food security. Diverse genetic resources provide the generic traits required to deal with crop pests and diseases, as well as changing climate conditions. It is also essential for the millions of people worldwide who depend on traditional small-scale farming for their livelihoods. As such, plant genetic diversity is an indispensable factor in the fight against poverty.
However, the diversity of domesticated plant varieties is disappearing at an alarming rate while the interest in the commercial use of genetic resources has increased in line with bio-technologies. The capacity of developing countries to effectively use such systems is limited with much protest against intellectual property rights from the South.
This book provides an introduction to the relevance of food security. It analyses international regimes and their interaction. It highlights future prospects with a discussion of relevance for practitioners as well as researchers.This important book contributes to our understanding of how international regimes affect the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in developing countries.