Launch of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Farmers’ Varieties/Landraces


Iran Room, FAO, Rome
Time: 13:15 – 14:30

The cultivation of diverse farmers’ varieties/landraces, which tend to be well-adapted and suited to local production systems, confers increased resilience for crop production. Farmers’ varieties/landraces are also potential sources of traits for crop improvement, especially for developing varieties tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses and for incorporating farmer-preferred traits. Unfortunately, many of these genetic resources have been replaced by modern cultivars in recent decades, resulting in a reduction in the total number of different varieties grown and/or loss of heterogeneity. Such losses make farming systems less resilient, especially to shocks from abiotic and biotic stresses.

These guidelines, intended as reference materials for preparing a National Plan for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Farmers’ Varieties/Landraces, will contribute to addressing this continuing loss of diversity.

The guidelines are therefore a useful tool for development practitioners, researchers, students and policymakers who work on the conservation and sustainable use of these valuable resources.

Information on the launch: 


  1. Raise awareness of the value of local crop diversity and their role in enhancing global food security;
  2. Share country experiences in the conservation and sustainable use of this important diversity; and
  3. Introduce Voluntary Guidelines for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Farmers’ Varieties/Landraces.

Chair: Stefano Diulgheroff, Secretary, Intergovernmental Technical Working Group - Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Welcoming Remarks

  • Irene Hoffmann, Secretary, Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
  • Rémi Nono Womdim, Deputy Director, Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP), FAO
  • Kent Nnadozie, Secretary, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture


  • Normita Ignacio, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE), Philippines
  • John Wasswa Mulumba, Curator and Head, Plant Genetic Resource Centre, National Agricultural Research Organization, Uganda
  • Alejandro Argumedo, Director, Asociación ANDES, Peru and Associate, SeedChange, Canada
  • Tashi Yangzome Dorji, Program Director, National Biodiversity Centre, Bhutan
  • Bonnie Furman, Agricultural Officer, Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources Team, AGP, FAO


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