How can we support adaptation and resilience in our seed system?
Seed diversity is vital globally for ensuring ecological stability and a resilient food system that works for both people and our planet. The majority of our food comes from seed, yet the importance of seed is given little thought. Our industrialised food system currently relies on monocropping, agrochemicals, and patented and genetically modified seeds, which has led to the loss of 75% of plant genetic diversity in the last century. What’s more, of the 80,000 edible species available for food production, only 150 are currently grown.
Seed privatisation has also meant that corporate shareholder interests like financial gain have been put above factors important to farmers and consumers, meaning that healthy, accessible and sustainable food is no longer prioritised. This has damaged the farmers’ economy, our food security, diets and nutrition, biodiversity and global climate conditions.
Potential for Change
Adapting seed to changing climates and resources can help mitigate risks to farmers and their crops. But for this to be successful, farmers and the communities they serve need access to diverse and healthy seed which they can save and share seed, and consciously choose which crop genetics are suited to their local environment and the way they are maintained and controlled.
We are looking to support initiatives which empower farmers and local communities to become seed stewards and promote agroecological forms of growing. With funding from The Dixon Foundation, can your organisation help us build greater adaptation and resilience in our seed system?