Seed Systems

The value of diverse seed systems is beyond economic measure; they are connected to cultural and culinary traditions, health and well-being, resilient agroecological landscapes, and sustainable local economies. Recognizing this, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food has commissioned experts from around the world to weigh in on a future that protects and improves resilient seed systems.

The report is underpinned by an overview of efforts to protect and improve seed systems written by agricultural biodiversity researchers Emile Frison and Toby Hodgkin, and includes commentaries from a diverse range of experts, including organic farmers, community activists, business representatives, researchers, and scientists.

Each contribution provides a valuable perspective on the state of agricultural biodiversity, the inherent value of seeds and agrobiodiversity, the threats to these systems, and how funders and advocates can strengthen the diversity and resilience of community-based seed systems.

The compendium highlights:

  • Threats to, and factors affecting, the preservation and maintenance of seed biodiversity;
  • What is needed to protect and enhance community-based seed systems;
  • The social institutions and socio-economic factors that are supporting seed biodiversity;
  • Good policy practice on, and barriers to, seed biodiversity embedded in legislation at international, national and regional levels; and,
  • Key actors in agrobiodiversity, funding gaps, and recommendations for strengthening community-based efforts.

We will be sharing compendium recommendations and exploring how to best work with others to strengthen support for community based and farmer managed seed systems at key events, and will share details on our next steps in Spring 2017.

Maintaining and enhancing agrobiodiversity and food sovereignty is critical in light of global challenges such as climate change, and seeds play an important role in that.

Kyra Busch

Lead of the Global Alliance’s Agroecological Transitions Working Group and Program Officer at The Christensen Fund