Biodiversity is the base of agriculture. Agriculture contributes actively to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Today it is also a major factor in its reduction, particularly due to standardization of practices and production. In order to meet the challenges of current changes : food safety, environmental conservation... agriculture needs to be rethought and go with the conservation of bioversity. Agricultural plant genetic resources are at the heart of the concept of sustainable crop intensification.
Today, 80% of the world's food is based on less than twenty agricultural, representing a risk to global food security. Many species are under used, abandoned or forgotten. Some could increase food security of people in the Indian Ocean area. Cassava and breadfruit as exemple on which few reliable scientific data exist.
Some countries also have local varieties able to adapt to drought, water stress or resist certain diseases. For example, there are a hundred varieties of cassava in Madagascar, whose variety Resova drought tolerant. These varieties are therefore an invaluable asset to meet the requirements linked to global change, including climate change, as well as a multitude of health problems. Therefore it is important to keep the diversity of agricultural resources, a diversity threatened because of the non-existence of adequate conservation strategies.
Gain a better understanding of the "local capacity", i.e agricultural plant genetic resources available in the Indian Ocean area, is the first step for the preservation and enhancement of biodiversity.This is the primary concern of Germination project. The project aims then to promote and increase the genetic material to make it available in the Indian Ocean area.
Preserve and enhance biodiversity to improve food security of people in the Indian Ocean area is the challenge of the project GERMINATION .
The project focuses on three main themes:
- Build and lead a regional network of actors involved in the conservation, management, development and dissemination of agricultural plant genetic resources in the countries of the Indian Ocean area.
- Identify, acquire and share informations on agricultural plant genetic resources of the partner countries and maintain a regional business intelligence.
- Propose strategies to meet the challenges of preserving biodiversity , food security and climate change in partner countries by strengthening agricultural plant genetic resource management skills.