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Towards resilience through systems-based plant breeding. A review

Lammerts van Bueren, Edith T.; Struik, Paul C.; Eekeren, Nick van and Nuijten, Edwin (2018) Towards resilience through systems-based plant breeding. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 38 (42), pp. 1-21.

[thumbnail of LammertsVanBueren2018_Article_TowardsResilienceThroughSystem.pdf] PDF - English

Document available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-018-0522-6


How the growing world population can feed itself is a crucial, multi-dimensional problem that goes beyond sustainable development. Crop production will be affected by many changes in its climatic, agronomic, economic, and societal contexts.
Therefore, breeders are challenged to produce cultivars that strengthen both ecological and societal resilience by striving for
six international sustainability targets: food security, safety and quality; food and seed sovereignty; social justice;
agrobiodiversity; ecosystem services; and climate robustness. Against this background, we review the state of the art in plant
breeding by distinguishing four paradigmatic orientations that currently co-exist: community-based breeding, ecosystem-based
breeding, trait-based breeding, and corporate-based breeding, analyzing differences among these orientations. Our main findings
are: (1) all four orientations have significant value but none alone will achieve all six sustainability targets; (2) therefore, an
overarching approach is needed: “systems-based breeding,” an orientation with the potential to synergize the strengths of the
ways of thinking in the current paradigmatic orientations; (3) achieving that requires specific knowledge development and
integration, a multitude of suitable breeding strategies and tools, and entrepreneurship, but also a change in attitude based on
corporate responsibility, circular economy and true-cost accounting, and fair and green policies. We conclude that systems-based
breeding can create strong interactions between all system components. While seeds are part of the common good and the basis of
agrobiodiversity, a diversity in breeding approaches, based on different entrepreneurial approaches, can also be considered part of
the required agrobiodiversity. To enable systems-based breeding to play a major role in creating sustainable agriculture, a shared
sense of urgency is needed to realize the required changes in breeding approaches, institutions, regulations and protocols. Based
on this concept of systems-based breeding, there are opportunities for breeders to play an active role in the development of an
ecologically and societally resilient, sustainable agriculture.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Agrobiodiversity, Breeding strategies, Common good, Ecological resilience, Entrepreneurial models, Resource use efficiency, Seed systems, Social justice, Societal resilience, Sustainability
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Breeding, genetics and propagation
Research affiliation: Netherlands > Louis Bolk Institute
European Union > Horizon 2020 > Liveseed
Netherlands > Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
ISSN:1774-0746 (Print) 1773-0155 (Online)
Deposited By: Vonzun, Seraina
ID Code:34336
Deposited On:25 Jan 2019 13:36
Last Modified:25 Jan 2019 13:36
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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