Twenty Four Approaches for Conservation of Non-Orthodox Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources in Nepal
Keywords:Conservation, ex-situ, field genebank, recalcitrant, vegetatively propagated plants, in situ
The conservation of plant genetic diversity underpins the future of agriculture, food and nutrition security and is critical to ensure the ability of future generations to cope with global environmental changes. The conservation efforts were more focused on orthodox crop species in Nepal before 2010. About 40% of agricultural plant genetic resources are non-orthodox, either recalcitrant/ intermediate type or vegetatively propagated plant species. Approaches for conservation of non-orthodox plant species differ from that of orthodox crops. Different conservation approaches have been established by National Agriculture Genetic Resources Center, Nepal for conserving non-orthodox agricultural plant species. We applied household survey, literatures survey, field survey, key informant survey and organized focus group discussion for assessing the different conservation approaches. A total of 24 approaches are being considered for conservation of non-orthodox plant species. Approaches under the ex-situ strategy are field genebank, botanical garden, city park, government farm, religious place, in-vitro culture and evolutionary plant breeding; under on-farm strategy are community field genebank, school field genebank, household field genebank, community/ public orchard, village level field genebank, geographical indication and participatory landrace enhancement, and under in-situ strategy are protected area, Ramsar site, world heritage site, community forest and legal protection for conserving non-orthodox plant species in Nepal. Field genebank is the very good approach, and it has been established in about 20 research stations. It should be extended to government farms and agriculture offices to conserve the local APGRs available in their respective command areas. Databases (passport and characterization) have been generated and will be available online to enhance the utilization in breeding, research and production.