Synopsis: At a time of growing uniformity in agriculture and of rising rates of illness in the population, evolutionary plant breeding proposes something radically different. It leads to crop varieties (actually populations) that are healthful, diverse, locally adapted, and controlled by the farmer. The results represent a promising way to combine food security, food safety, climate adaptability and farmer income at the same time. However, evolutionary breeding faces legal and institutional barriers.
Salvatore Ceccarelli is an evolutionary and participatory plant breeder based in Ascoli Piceno (Italy).