Themes and discussion

Find out more about organic arable farming and organic livestock husbandry, join the discussions, and exchange ideas and information with colleagues and scientists.

Plant breeding and variety trials

The vast majority of seeds used in organic production in Europe is based on varieties that were bred for the conventional sector. There are only few varieties that were specifically bred for organic and low-input systems in developed countries. Organic breeding leads to new organic cultivars or populations specifically adapted to organic agriculture. Organic farmers need cultivars and populations that are well adapted to their specific agro-ecological conditions. Desired traits such as water and nutrient use efficiency, good weed competition as well as resistance to pests and diseases. Novel breeding concepts and strategies adapted to organic and low-input farming are needed to address the demand for organic seeds.

On this page, you will find information on breeding programmes developed specifically for organic farming, prioritizing different traits required under organic and low-input systems, including list of varieties developed in different countries, on novel breeding and screening tools and on holistic breeding concepts.

Plant breeding with farmers. A technical manualLatest tool

Plant breeding with farmers. A technical manual

Participatory plant breeding (PPB) is defined as a type of plant breeding in which farmers, as well as other partners, such as extension staff, seed…



TitleIssuing organisationProjectYear of releaseRating
Organic Field Crop ProductionDalhousie University, Organic Agriculture Centre...OK-Net Arable-
Plant breeding with farmers. A technical manualInternational Center for Agricultural Research in...OK-Net Arable2012