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March 7th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

New research has revealed that countries increasingly rely on introduced plants for food and need to cooperate to protect crop diversity.

The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that awareness of the geographic origin of major food crops is shrinking, threatening conservation and breeding efforts.

Governments should spend more money and effort on joint research and conservation to protect both original crop species and their wild relatives, says lead author Colin Khoury, a researcher at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia.“We all need each other because there is no country that uses only native crop plants,” Khoury explains. “China, as the world’s biggest producer of peanut, should, for example, be interested in conservation in Brazil, where peanut crops [originally] come from.” See more