FAO strongly supports the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. In the broadest sense, this encompasses the whole range of actions involved in the conservation, diversification, adaptation, improvement and delivery to farmers through seed systems. Plant breeding acts as bridge between the conservation in genebanks and the seed systems that deliver improved varieties to farmers.
Sustainable use of PGRFA takes into account the wider principles of ecologically, economically and socially sound approaches. These principles address the challenges of meeting basic food needs, generating income for the rural poor, and providing a foundation for protecting the environment. It can involve different technical solutions and actions, such as intensification of production; plant breeding; characterization, evaluation and number of core collections; genetic enhancement and base-broadening; diversification of crop production and broader diversity in crops; development and commercialization of under utilized crops and species; supporting seed production and distribution; and developing new markets for local varieties and "diversity rich'' products. Sustainable use of PGRFA also includes the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of PGRFA and agrobiodiversity management through appropriate strategies and participatory involvement of stakeholders.