Plant Genetic Resources for Marginal Environments: Identification, Multiplication and Dissemination

Thematic Areas: 
Crop Productivity and Diversification
Problem Overview: 
Abiotic stresses such as salinity, water scarcity, heat stress and low soil fertility pose serious threats to agricultural production and ultimately to the livelihoods of local farmers in marginal environments. Identifying stress-tolerant alternative crops is crucial to addressing the rising global threat to food security as demand for food increases while arable land decreases. Plant genetic resources have rare genetic traits that enable the plant to cope with environmental stresses, plant diseases and pests, making them more resilient to saline and marginal environments. The knowledge that is gained from plant genetic resources and their expanded use can play a major role in contributing to people’s livelihoods by providing food, medicine, feed for domestic animals, fiber, clothing, shelter and energy.
Purpose: 
Improve agricultural production in marginal environments by studying a wide range of salt-tolerant and water-use efficient crops to assess their ability to grow and produce economic yields under marginal conditions. Consequently, identify and isolate the genes significantly contributing to salinity tolerance.
Partners: 
Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)AVRDC – The World Vegetable CenterNational Agricultural Research System (NARS)
Timeline: 
January, 2012 to January, 2017
Geographical Scope: 
Global