The problems of food and income security are of global significance and are further compounded by precedential increase in world population resulting in overexploitation of natural resources and by extension plant genetic diversity. Plant genetic resources (PGR) refer to the heritable materials contained within and among plant species of present and potential value. In the recent past, genetic diversity found in landrace, weedy and wild cultivars have been reported to savage animal and plant population diseases, pest and environmental changes. Nevertheless, these resources are lost at alarming rates due to anthropogenic product and by products such as climate change, pollution, genetic erosion, gross mismanagement of these resources and population growth. Hence, the need for conservation and sustainable utilization of these resources. PGR conservation is the management of varietal diversity in plant occasioned by interaction between genes and the environment for actual or potential and present or future use. A complimentary application of in situ and ex situ conservation technique is recommended for their effective conservation. Efficient survey, collection and documentation is also pertinent. International, national and individual appreciation of the value of this vast genetic diversity would facilitate their sustainable utilization. PGR utilization refers to the use value of these genetic resources. There is need to create avenues through which these can be easily accessed and enact effective policies for their protection especially in their hotspot and regions of high endemism.
Key words: Plant genetic resources (PGR), conservation, utilization, environmental changes, population growth, genetic erosion.
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