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Return to Resistance: Breeding Crops to Reduce Pesticide Dependence

Raoul Robinson

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"We are approaching the biologic limits of what this planet can support. Only by implementing some of the basic concepts that have been advanced and publicized by Dr Robinson, can an increasing world population be fed, while preserving our natural resources and the quality of our environment."
— John S. Niederhauser, PhD (1990 recipient of the World Food Prize)

In the tradition of Silent Spring, Raoul Robinson's Return to Resistance calls for a revolution. Traditional plant breeding techniques have led us to depend more and more on chemical pesticides to protect ourcrops. Return to Resistance shows gardeners, farmers, and plant breeders how to use a long-neglected technique to create hardy new plant varieties that are naturally resistant to pests and disease.

Horizontal resistance breeding has been largely ignored in this century due to the popularity and apparent successes of the Mendelian geneticists. However the colossal, unrecognized failure of modern crops is their extreme susceptiblity to pests and diseases, and the consequent necessity to spray them repeatedly with pesticides. We have come to accept exposure to pesticides in our food as a necessary evil.

Return to Resistance provides 

  • Stimulating discussion of the pitfalls of classical plant breeding and the Green Revolution 
  • Case histories of crops that have been successfully bred to overcome blights and insects 
  • A detailed encyclopedia of plant breeding techniques 
  • Information on how to organize plant breeding clubs 

The book includes an extensive glossary, a bibliography, and a complete index.

The author

Raoul A. Robinson is a Canadian/British plant scientist with more than 40 years of wide-ranging experience in crop improvement for both commercial and subsistence agriculture. Over the course of his adventurous and productive career, Dr Robinson has concentrated most intensively on maize, potatoes, beans, and coffee. In addition, he has worked with cotton, tomatoes, dates, wheat, alfalfa, cocoa, cassava, coconut, tobacco, taro, sweet potato, vanilla, black pepper, and other crops.