Science et changements planétaires / Sécheresse


Is crop breeding the first step to fill the yield gap? Volume 24, issue 4, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2013


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International Potato Center Avenida La Molina 1895 La Molina Lima Perú, Université de Toulouse INP-ENSIACET Laboratoire de chimie agro-industrielle F–31030 Toulouse France

One of the main challenges of the present century is to face the increasing food demand by enhancing farmers’ yield, but with less area and less water. The present paper analyzes how crop improvement and agronomic management have contributed to this objective, until now either by improving crop yield potential or by filling the gaps between yield potential and farmers’ yield. It reviews critically whether better varieties can replace or reduce the need of good agronomic practices in the future. It finally attempts to describe the role to be played by crop management technologies over the next decades to allow the genetic potential of new varieties to be expressed.