Successful plant breeding and Biodiversity go hand in hand and are central to everything we do as plant breeders. Climate change, our changing landscapes and consumer demand play a huge part in our plant breeding programmes and we need to adapt quickly!
Biodiversity isn’t just about offering foods that taste better and have more attractive shapes. Plant breeders are looking for common traits for the future while fighting disease and looking for drought tolerance. They are looking to grow a better quality of plants, without the need for chemical residues and find traits that will enrich the varieties farmers are growing every day.
Yet, biodiversity is still broadly neglected by governments in the public sector, in favour of leaving it to the private sector. However, the need for biodiversity in plant breeding should be an issue across both the public and private sectors. This is a universal issue. Plant breeding, and the concepts surrounding it, are long term challenges that ultimately will lead to the food we all have on our dinner tables now and in ten years’ time.
Sue Kennedy, Head of Plant Breeding, said "Elsoms proactively work to maintain and promote biodiversity, working with plant breeders across the globe. The UK, European and American gene banks have all been a source of material for our breeding programmes and their importance will increase as breeders use them as a source of novel traits."
Watch this video from the European Seed Association (ESA) which explores the continuing need for biodiversity:
You can find out more about the work of the ESA here.