Involved Countries: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Project Donor(s): Centre de Recherche Public Gabriel Lippmann (CRPGL), Luxembourg
Project Duration: 2013-2016
Project Partners: Bioversity International
Fruit tree species are important for human health and nutrition. Their cultivated diversity and wild relatives are a source of useful genes for breeding for resistance against pests and diseases and drought and cold. This genetic diversity can also be used to identify and enhance their nutritional values. Thus, the project will advance the conservation and characterization of fruit tree genetic diversity as a basis for promoting more diversified and sustainable uses. An essential outcome will be the evaluation of fruit tree genetic resources for a variety of potential uses including nutritional and health properties. There is a growing understanding that these resources are of strategic value for the provision of healthy and good-quality food, and serve as a basis to create new economic opportunities for farmers, and to maintain healthy ecosystems. It is also apparent that these resources are under threat due to recent economic and environmental changes and must be characterized and safely conserved. To avoid the possible loss of these unique resources and to fully explore their potential, new strategies, technologies and information are needed. This implies greater exchange and scientific co-operation in developing strategies and standardizing tools and methods.