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Genetic Resources

Genetic resources and their protection and sustainable use are very important in terms of the further development of agriculture. Unique genes and characteristics can be found in many of these living organisms, which can play a key role in breeding new varieties and breeds, when adapting crops to the changing climatic conditions (e.g. better tolerance of longer periods of drought or waterlogging), or for new industrial uses (e.g. bacteria producing polymers). Therefore, for agricultural purposes, a relatively wide part of biodiversity is considered to be those genetic resources which, in the long term, arose in the agricultural systems themselves due to intentional human activity, whether by targeted selection or by the later breeding of crops and livestock. This also includes related wild species and primitive forms of agricultural crops and livestock. Among the genetic resources we can also find micro-organisms and small invertebrates, which are either significantly involved in agricultural production or its protection or directly in its processing and use.

The significant genetic resources in the Czech Republic are part of the National Programme for the Conservation and Use of Genetic Resources of Plants, Animals and Micro-organisms Relevant for Food and Agriculture, which was announced by the Ministry of Agriculture for the 2012–2017 period.
The basic goal of the National Programme is not only the conservation of genetic resources of plants, animals and micro-organisms for the current and future needs of humanity, but also conserving the quality of the countryside and maintaining the sustainable development of the agrarian sector. The mission of the National Programme is also to guarantee the Czech Republic’s international commitments and to contribute to global conservation efforts and the sustained use of genetic resources and biodiversity.