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A workshop on Organic Seed Systems and Participatory Plant Breeding will be held at the Henry Doubleday Research Association on February 20, specialized sources reported here.

Fresh Plaza newsletter based in Holland, said the venue will give growers, researchers and advisors the opportunity to discuss and learn from experiences in the UK, Europe and Cuba.

Since the late 1980s, Cuba has faced the challenge of feeding itself without access to agrochemicals and has turned to more diverse, traditional methods of agriculture and plant breeding.

Dr Humberto Rios Labrada, researcher in plant breeding in Havana will recount some of these experiences with small-scale farmer groups throughout much of Latin America.

With the rise of intensive agriculture, conventional breeding techniques have focused on high input monoculture systems and the farmer has almost become completely divorced from the selection and breeding process.

Participatory plant breeding techniques aim to halt this genetic erosion by involving farmers and maintaining diversity.

In this respect, Cuba may be more advanced than the UK and there is much that can be learned from its experiences in participatory plant breeding.

A workshop at HDRA will address key issues of organic seed production and provide the opportunity to discuss experiences from the UK, Europe and further a field.

Martin Wolfe, research director at Elm Farm Research Centre will give an insight into his research into novel planting arrangements and participatory breeding techniques in the UK.

Source: Prensa Latina

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