CONSERVATION OF CROP WILD RELATIVES AND ITS UTILITY
A crop wild relative (CWR) is a wild plant closely related to a domesticated plant, whose geographic origins can be traced to regions known as Vavilov Centers (named for the pioneering botanist Nikolai Vavilov). The development of new varieties is essential to increase the productivity of food crops to match the growing world population but with the advent of climate change and greater ecosystem instability we are sensing the loss of genes and agro-ecosystem instability. CWRs are likely to prove a critical resource in ensuring food security and maintaining sustainable agro-ecosystems for the new millennium; CWRs are essential components of natural and agricultural ecosystems and hence are indispensable for maintaining ecosystem health. Like many wild species, Crop Wild Relatives are on the decline, both at the taxonomic and at the genetic level. Their conservation and sustainable use is very important for improving agricultural production, increasing food security, and maintaining a healthy environment.