Breeders need to develop – in a societally acceptable manner – high-yielding, good quality, resource-efficient cultivars that are climate-robust, culturally acceptable and contribute to ecosystem services. We analysed several challenges towards ecological and societal resilience given the current and future climatic, agronomic, economic and societal environment, which a single approach in plant breeding alone cannot solve.
We identified four paradigmatic breeding orientations: community-based, ecosystem-based, trait-based, and corporatebased
We identified four paradigmatic breeding orientations:
community-based, ecosystem-based, trait-based, and corporatebased. These orientations differ because they have
different ways of thinking, values and economic models. Each
approach has significant value and impact, such that no approach alone will achieve all relevant sustainability targets:
- food security and safety,
- food and seed sovereignty,
- social justice,
- ecosystem services,
- climate robustness.
Achieving these targets requires i) knowledge development and integration, multiple breeding strategies and entrepreneurships, but also a change in attitude based on ii) corporate responsibility, circular economy and true cost accounting, and fair and green policies. We therefore define a new approach: ‘systems-based breeding’ (Fig.2). It is a methodological orientation, which maximizes the synergy between the strengths of the ways of thinking of the four paradigmatic orientations. Based on this concept of systems-based breeding, we picture a perspective where breeders can be initiators of developments towards an ecologically and societally resilient crop production.