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COLLECTING, RECORDING AND EVALUATION OF BIODIVERSITY WITHIN AEGILOPS

The exploitation of domestic biodiversity within the field of (ecological) agriculture requires not only the collection of seeds or genetic material and keeping them in seed banks or biodiversity conservation parks. A very important issue is also the collection and documentation of their traditional knowledge and use, the characterization and study of the material and its evaluation in a variety of climatic and geographical environments
under current farming conditions. It is vital that this layered and multifaceted procedure be implemented under a national strategic policy for the utilization of plant genetic resources and should be part of the state’s infrastructure with the Gene Bank and national institutions of agricultural research playing a prominent role. But this issue should also be the duty of citizens, farmers and local communities according to their abilities. They should undertake the initiative to complement or to fulfill the task if it is insufficiently carried out by the state.
Under AEGILOPS’ framework and its focal points coordination in various regions of Greece, seed collection documentation and conservation activities are carried out. Landraces, population varieties and farmer’s seeds are being evaluated in an organic farming environment so that they can lead to the production of special, quality food and to help the farmers have a revenue in a niche market. Assessments and case studies are carried out in participatory schemes involving producers, professional groups, research and educational institutions, local seed saving networks and citizens groups.