Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Improved Seeds and Planting Materials

Date Published: 
November 10, 2011

Evidence from the Green Revolution clearly shows that the spread of modern varieties has been an important cause of genetic erosion, as massive government campaigns encouraged farmers to adopt modern varieties and to abandon many local varieties. The uniformity caused by increasing areas sown to a smaller number of varieties is a source of increased risk for farmers, as the varieties may be more vulnerable to disease and pest attack and most of them perform poorly in marginal environments.

An agro-ecological research approach keeps the positive outcomes from the Green Revolution (i.e., International collaboration, institutional infrastructure, ability to adapt and disseminate the technology) and reduces its negative impacts (i.e., monocultures, genetic erosion, increased risks to farmers). The approach does this by considering the interactions of all important biophysical, technical, and socioeconomic components of farming systems, where mineral cycles, energy transformations, biological processes, and socioeconomic relationships are analyzed as a whole in an interdisciplinary fashion.

This factsheet was developed as part of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Climate-Smart Agriculture Workshop. The workshop focused on approaches for effective program design of climate-smart agriculture in support of both country and regional CAADP investment plans. Climate-smart agriculture incorporates practices that increase productivity, efficiency, resilience, adaptive capacity, and mitigation potential of production systems.