Surrounded by darkness, each seed reaches for the light as roots anchor it deep into the ground. As the seedling emerges, with it bursts forth potential and promise – this promise ultimately is the building block from which all food is produced.
Whether it’s field corn or cilantro, every seed produces fruit that will eventually be consumed by humans or animals. Without this cornerstone of food production, and the technology that helps these seeds survive, food scarcity would be even greater than it is today.
“It’s really fundamental that the seed sector is part of the discussion on food systems,” says Michael Keller, International Seed Federation secretary general. “Seed is the starting point and therefore building our ability to support subsistence farmers and build local or regional to global food systems, means we have to engage together.”
Local production practices and cultural standards will determine what sustainability looks like in each region. No matter what, seed production and the ability to produce more will be critical to success.
Rise to the Challenge
Meeting the needs of a growing world will take communication, both to the public and with the farmers producing food.
“It’s important in gaining understanding of food production [to know] where food is coming from – who the key actors are in food production,” Keller says. “We have a responsibility to continue [to deliver] a sustainable seed supply.”
The challenge for seed companies? Working with local farmers to address their unique needs. Globally, the stressors plants endure vary dramatically, from drought, to flood to any manner of pest.
“What we bring to the farmer needs to be locally adapted,” he continues. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis only further accentuated the need for reliable seed products and food products.
In any case, meeting the needs of a growing world will require seed companies – from multi-national to local producers – to rise to the challenge. Check out more of Michael Keller’s thoughts in the Giant Views video below:
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