Protecting and Promoting Local Seed Systems


The Global Alliance for the Future of Food has commissioned experts from across sectors and around the world to weigh in on a future that protects and improves local seed systems, with the final report due to be released in the fall of 2016. “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,” says Kyra Busch, Program Officer at The Christensen Fund and lead of the Global Alliance’s Agroecological Transitions Working Group.

“The holistic thinking about the value and sacredness of seeds over the past generations has been the basis for sustaining diversity and hence stability in the surrounding environment.”

– Nelson Mudzingwa, Zimbabwe, Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF)

Underpinned by an overview of efforts to protect and improve seed systems, and written by agricultural biodiversity researchers Emile Frison and Toby Hodgkin, the report will include 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 value of resilient and diverse seed systems goes far beyond any economic measure. Community-based seed systems are connected to diverse cultural and culinary traditions, health and well-being, resilient agroecological landscapes, and sustainable local economies.

The compendium will highlight:

  • 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.

For more information, contact Lauren Baker, Strategic Initiatives and Programs, Consultant: