Seed Systems: Managing, using and creating crop genetic resources

Niels P. Louwaars*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Within the broad term ‘agrobiodiversity’, the genetic diversity that exists within crops is a component of special importance for humankind, as it is the basis of all our food, feed, fibres and more. Diversity plays an important role in farming, especially as a source of material for selection. Farmers access seed for their next crop in a variety of ways. Broadly speaking, a distinction can be made between formal and farmers’ seed systems. Farmers’ seed systems have domesticated wild plant species to become crops, and have in turn developed a wide array of selections in response to the agro-ecology and human preferences during that domestication. Where one of the key features of landraces is that they can adapt to changing conditions, there are also limits to that resilience. Local seed systems are currently not only dealing with the traditional farmers’ varieties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Agricultural Biodiversity
EditorsD. Hunter, L. Guarino, C. Spillane, P.C. McKeown
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781317753292
ISBN (Print)9780415746922
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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