The European Alliance on Agricultural knowledge for Development

Resilient seeds for the future of food

5 September 2016. The Global Alliance for the Future of Food has released a report, titled ‘Seeds of Resilience: A Compendium of Perspectives on Agricultural Biodiversity from Around the World’. Led by the alliance’s Agroecological Transitions Working Group, the publication focuses on the role seeds and seed diversity can play in sustainable agriculture, food security, and nutrition.

Agricultural biodiversity experts Emile Frison, a member of the International Panel of Experts of Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), and Toby Hodgkin from Bioversity International author the opportunities section of the report, which outlines the value of seed diversity, discusses challenges to preservation, and proposes action steps. The report also includes a series of commentaries from experts around the globe about community-based seed systems, the role of women and indigenous farmers, and farmer involvement in policymaking.

  • The report points to a shift in consumer conscience about food and where it comes from—a change that presents opportunities for building alliances between foundations, donors, farmers, and policymakers. The report highlights communities and organizations working to maintain sustainable, resilient agricultural networks through preserving seed diversity and establishing new kinds of partnerships. These efforts could offer opportunities to improve resources and share knowledge through breaking down boundaries between formal and informal seed sectors, and between public and private institutions. “Robust seed systems,” the report emphasizes, “are central to sustainable food systems that are renewable, resilient, equitable, diverse, healthy, and interconnected.”
  • The report reminds readers that 21 percent of global plants are at risk of extinction, according to the 2016 State of the World’s Plants report. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that rice, wheat, and maize now make up 60 percent of the global plant-based food supply.
  • The report also includes a series of commentaries from experts around the globe about community-based seed systems, the role of women and indigenous farmers, and farmer involvement in policymaking.

Download the full compendium: The Future of Food: Seeds of Resilience

Related: 
COMESA Seed Regulations translated into local languages
5 September 2016. Nairobi. Second COMSHIP Implementation Progress Review meeting. Seven COMESA countries have translated the regional Seed Harmonization Implementation Plan (COMSHIP) regulations into local languages to enable a large number of farmers to access and understand the laws. This initiative has the potential to greatly increase food security in the region.

The languages are Kirundi (Burundi) Swahili (Kenya) Tumbuka and Chichewa (Malawi) Kinyarwanda (Rwanda) Luganda (Uganda) Tonga, Lozi, Bemba and Nyanja (Zambia) and Shona and Ndebele (Zimbabwe).

The Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) Chief Executive Officer Mr Argent Chuula described the development as positive and necessary for COMSHIP to achieve its objective of increasing seed production and availability in the region.

USAID has been working closely with COMESA and ACTESA to support efforts to increase seed production, reliability, trade and competitiveness of the seed industry across the region through the COMSHIP.


Source: PAEPARD FEED

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