International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

BSF Project - First Cycle

Strengthening On-farm conservation and use of sorghum, finger millet, lablab beans and yam crop diversities for improved food Security and adaptation to climatic changes in Tanzania
Tanzania’s fields are loosing their safety nets of plant genetic diversity, due to ongoing environmental challenges, changing farming systems, and even changes in taste preferences. In Tanzania, more than 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods. In many parts of the country, this means subsistence agriculture practiced by smallholders who have traditionally mitigated the risks of extreme weather events, pests and market fluctuations by relying on the diversity of their locally adapted traditional crops. Biodiversity constituted a kind of insurance. However, as they adopted improved crop varieties in recent decades, they abandoned their local seeds. The Treaty Benefit-sharing Fund Project for strengthening the on-farm conservation of crop diversity operates in eight districts of Tanzania’s most drought prone areas. Farmers in these districts face a 33 percent decrease in annual grain yield due to projected temperature increases and rainfall decreases. The project recognizes that farmers’ use of locally adapted crop species has the potential to mitigate this situation and works to strengthen on-farm conservation. Without well adapted crops, these areas of Tanzania could be rendered unsuitable for agricultural production.
Finger Millet, Laban, Sorghum, Yams
Window 2 - Immediate action projects
Region: Africa
Implementing institution: National Plant Genetic Resources Centre

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