The first link in a food chain is the seed. Mankind’s evolution is dependant on it. If seeds get extinct, we as humans will cease to exist.
There are between 300,000 – 400,000 known plant species. 50% of these are edible, however homo sapiens consume just 150 to 200. Alarmingly, only three – rice, maize and wheat – contribute nearly 60 percent of our daily caloric and protein requirements.
What is Seed Sovereignty?
Seed Sovereignty is the right of farmers to save, use, exchange and sell their own seeds. It seeks to address seed ownership, as a majority of seeds are increasingly becoming the property of major corporations. Many farmers and indigenous communities will have difficulty in saving local seeds that have existed in their communities for centuries.
Seed sovereignty goes hand in glove with food sovereignty, which is the right of individuals, communities, and countries to determine their own food and agriculture policies.
How to protect Seed Sovereignty?
If possible, buy local and support your local farmers, who are the backbone of local and regional food systems.
There are seed libraries that lend seeds to gardeners, usually with the expectation that they will return one to two times the number of seeds they received. Thus, the seed library will continue to grow, preserving long term genetic biodiversity and allowing seeds to adapt to local microclimates. Seed banks help protect the future food supply in case food crops are destroyed, which is happening more frequently due to climate change and global conflict.
Over the past 100 years, the varieties of plants available are reducing at an alarming rate.
|Depletion of Seed Varieties over 100 years|
A time bomb slowly ticking
Seed Sovereignty is the basis to maintaining biodiversity as well as food security. High-quality open source seeds can be easily produced at a low cost, thus, reducing seed purchasing costs. It allows farmers to produce their own seeds (seed self-reliance) & also for the free exchange of seeds among farmers. Seed sovereignty enables farmers to select seeds suited to their environment & for the preservation of valuable traditional or indigenous seed varieties of vegetables for future generations.