Locally cultivated seed is a key factor in preserving biodiversity and thus for the future of our agriculture and food. But it is under increasing pressure from the seed industry.
Over thousands of years, farmers have created an incredible range of varieties that guarantee food security, health and long-term adaptability in times of climate change. In the past 100 years, however, over 75 percent of all varieties have been lost. Seed companies use patents to privatise genetic resources, and countries adopt restrictive seed and variety protection laws. Countermeasures can be taken in the form of farmers' seed banks, seed networks, the development of new local varieties and the safeguarding of seed quality through Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS).