After a long career in agricultural research in the UK and then in Africa, Richard Gibson ‘retired’ and got an allotment. In his work, he had found that African smallholders often rejected varieties bred for them on research stations – and that participatory plant breeding (PPB) was the solution. He was somewhat surprised to find that modern varieties of vegetables also had, on the whole, not been bred to be ‘fit for gardeners’ purposes’, instead commercial interests dominating. Once again, PPB seems appropriate but it takes some very recent and exciting developments to enable this to work for UK gardeners.
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