Self Organisation

The message of this book is that the crop pathosystem has been over-controlled. Indeed, it has been quite grossly over-controlled. The time is now ripe to relax this control, and to allow self-organisation (see 2.4) to operate. At the higher systems levels, this self-organisation will be essentially human, and it will closely resemble the self-organisation of the food production and distribution systems. That is, as many individuals as possible should be actively engaged in crop improvement, and they should have complete freedom to breed any crop they choose, using any technique they choose. Their efforts will be rewarded exclusively by results.

At the lower systems levels, this self-organisation will involve the response of genetically diverse plant populations to various selection pressures in a process of recurrent mass selection. There will then be progressive improvements in numerous cultivars of many important crops, with increasingly high levels of horizontal resistance to all locally important parasites. Because horizontal resistance is durable, a good cultivar need never be replaced expect by a better cultivar. After some decades of self-organisation, there will be near-perfect cultivars of most crops in most agro-ecosystems.

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