Breeding Better Varieties. The Value of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources in Agriculture
Genetic resources are essential for plant breeding. They have long been used and moved around the world in many different breeding programmes. Most genetic resources used in breeding are modern varieties; only a minority are wild relatives or landraces. Among breeders there is a long standing tradition of not restricting access for breeding purposes to commercialized varieties that are just protected by plant breeders’ rights. Despite a common misconception, patents or plant breeder’s rights are not issued for varieties that are already known or for resources that are simply found in nature. Breeders are committed to conserve, exchange, and sustainably use the world’s plant genetic resources, and support public conservation initiatives such as the Global Crop Diversity Trust.