Barley makes a comeback in Andes village
Barley is in the process of being reintroduced in the small Ecuadorian
village of Cochapamba high in the Andes mountains, as a result of the
Wageningen led research project Preduza.
The Preduza project (Projecto Duradera de la Zona Andina) is directed at
developing sustainable resistance to disease in local crops in
collaboration with local farmers’ groups. Project leader Dr Pim Lindhout of
the Laboratory of Plant Breeding: “The breeding we do in the project is not
directed at quick results through the introduction of modern varieties. We
are much more interested in ‘long-term’ breeding, by selecting varieties
that may be somewhat susceptible to diseases, but are capable of recovering
well from them. Varieties that can do this are much more likely to give
farmers a reasonable harvest because partial resistances are usually based
on several genes, so the chance of resistance breakthrough is less.