WP5 - Comparison of effectiveness of conventional and organic breeding strategies for organic and low input farming
The objective of WP5 is to compare the effectiveness of different breeding strategies under low input and certified organic farming conditions to optimise breeding for varieties suitable for organic and low input farming. A key point is that traits which are not considered or even discarded in conventional breeding will be taken into account based on WP1 outcomes. High input conventional breeding will be used as a control for two model crops (wheat and maize) to identify the main differences between the different breeding strategies. The aim of WP5 is to develop a strategy allowing for continuous release of new varieties addressing all possible market types of organic and low input farming over a wide range of different agro-climatic conditions in Europe and Sub-Saharan African countries. The WP focuses mainly on the development of new organic varieties under the present legal framework (UPOV regulations) based on DUS criteria but also on the development of novel breeding genotypes for future activities. Breeding strategies will be explored paying special attention to the mating system of the species (autogamous / allogamous) since this has important consequences for the breeding systems to be developed. The possible benefits for “mainstream” conventional breeding from the organic breeding methods and varieties that are developed will also be taken into consideration.