A (plant) species is called indigenous if it is originating or occurring naturally in a particular place. An indigenous species is also called a “native” species.

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Farmer Field School

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Farmer Field School (FFS) is a training approach. It is a season-long training activity for farmers that takes place in their ownfield. It is season-long so that it covers all the different developmental stages of the crop and their related management practices. The training process is always learner-centered, participatory and relying on an experiential learning

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Neolithic founder crops


The term “Neolithic founder crops” is used for the eight plant species that were first domesticated (about 7-10,000 years ago) by early farming communities in a region which is known as the Fertile Crescent in the Near East. Another term sometimes used is “Primary domesticates”. The eight crops are: Flax (or Linseed) Emmer wheat Einkorn

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A cultivar is a cultivated variety of a plant. The term “cultivar” is used instead of the term “variety” if the variety is the result of human action (e.g. breeding for certain characteristics such as color, taste or disease resistance). The term “variety” should be used if the type of plant is the result of

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Plant breeding

Plant breeding is the process of changing the genetics of plants with the objective to produce desired characteristics. The earliest plant breeding techniques involved simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation. Later it was found that deliberate hybridization could be used to quicker develop new plant types. The work of Gregor Mendel was important

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Grafting is a plant propagation technique whereby tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together.

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SRI is the abbreviation of System of Rice Intensification. This is a methodology aimed at increasing the yield of rice, often using the following six interrelated practices: Transplanting very young seedlings (8 to 15 days old) to enhance their potential for rooting and tillering Planting single seedlings (instead of 2 or more together) carefully and

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Subsistence farming

Subsistence farming (or Subsistence agriculture) is self-sufficiency farming in which the farmer will try to grow enough food to feed his/her family. It refers to a situation where nearly all the food that is produced is consumed in the farm household. In addition to subsistence crops (e.g. rice, vegetables) the subsistence farmer may have some

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Cash crop

A cash crop is a crop grown for sale rather than for subsistence. For example, a small farmer in the tropics could grow some rice for his own consumption and in addition may grow some tobacco and vegetables as cash crops (i.e. for direct sale). A cash crop is usually easily marketable.

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A crop is a cultivated plant or agricultural produce considered as a group and often grown commercially on a large scale. For example a cereal (grain), vegetable or fruit can be called a crop. For example: Rice is a tropical crop. Note: The World Crops Database does not only include plants, but also some fungi

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Flowering plants are sometimes grouped in dicotyledons and monocotyledons. Monocotyledons (or monocots) have just one embryonic leaf or cotyledon. The dicotyledons (also called dicots) have seeds with two embryonic leaves.

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Trees are called ‘deciduous’ if they drop their leaves during a certain season. Often this will be during the winter season in temperate climates or during the dry season in tropical climates.

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Flowering plants are sometimes grouped in dicotyledons and monocotyledons. The dicotyledons (also called dicots) have seeds with two embryonic leaves or cotyledons. Monocotyledons (or monocots) have just one embryonic leaf.

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Cotton fields

The name cotton is used for several species in the genus Gossypium that are grown as a fiber crops. Upland cotton is the most important cotton species. Other cottons are Tree cotton and Creole cotton. Cotton fibres are used to make textile products.

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The term Millet does not refer to just one taxonomic group but rather to an agronomic group of crop species. There are several types of millets, which are all small-seeded grains. What they have in common is that they are usually grown in drought-prone areas.

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Pumpkins and Squashes

Buttercup Squash

There are many types of Squashes and Pumpkins, which all belong to four different species in the genus Cucurbita. Each of these species includes several varieties with very different fruits and a large variety of names. This page provides some basic information on pumpkins and squashes, with links to separate pages for each of the four Cucurbita species.

Many species in the genus Cucurbita produce edible fruits.

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Cole crops


Cole crops is a term used for a number of vegetables within the Brassica genus. Example of cole crops include: cabbage, turnip, chinese cabbage, kale and cauliflower.

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