World crop diversity survives in small farms from peri-urban to remote rural locations

Feb 13, 2015

As much as 75 percent of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by a wide range of small farmholders—workers of less than three to seven acres—with the rest in gene banks, according to a Penn State geographer.
Karl Zimmerer, professor of geography and his colleagues in the GeoSyntheSES (Geographic Synthesis for Social-Ecological Sustainability) lab including Steven Vanek, postdoctoral fellow, looked at new census data from 11 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and combined that data with field observations to develop an understanding of who is farming what and exactly where.