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CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

Operationalizing an innovative systems approach for breeding agroforestry trees

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Key messages

  • ‘Systems approach’ plant breeding is about considering multiple global challenges together within the breeding process, to make sustainable progress in addressing those challenges.
  • For a systems approach to tree breeding to be successful, the starting point is a broad set of measures that define breeding success. The values applied should extend beyond the traditional ones of productivity and profitability, and embrace resilience, sustainability, nutritional security, local cultures and conservation.
  • Policy interventions that encourage a systems approach to tree breeding should provide incentives for tree researchers and breeders to embrace these broader values during tree characterization and genetic improvement. There should also be specific incentives for tree breeders to bring together existing breeding methods in novel ways to ensure that multiple values are addressed.


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