Local foods and seed banks are more important than ever. Community Gardens in cities, towns and villages are making a valiant attempt to set up Community Seed banks for locally adapted varieties of food plants. The Community is the Seed Bank. Seeds must be constantly grown out to keep them safe and if one person has a bad year with a particular plant, someone else may not have. The Seed Bank can then become an educational centre in the intricacies of growing and saving seeds and exchange points where seeds can be disseminated out in to the Community for regeneration and collection. Read on to find out why these types of projects are necessary in every community in the world. Rastas naturally save their food seed. It is one of the most precious things they have. Without them they have no food.
Good seed is expensive and getting harder and harder to get. Read on to find out why these types of projects are necessary in every community in the world. The slow food movement gets us back to a more natural way of living by using our local foods and learning to wait for our crops to come in and eating seasonally.
It seems that while there is war raging in the middle eastern countries little squirrels are busy at work transferring seed to the seed bank in Norway. twenty five thousand new seed samples were transferred just these past weeks.
With a shipment from the Syria-based International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, almost its entire collection is now backed up in Svalbard,
The U.S. seed bank is the biggest national contributor to the Svalbard vault. This year it is sending 12,801 samples, including amaranth, once a nutritious grain for Aztecs and Incas; and subspecies of barley that took root in the U.S. Pacific Northwest after being imported from Poland in 1938.
Samples shipped this year also included wheat from a range of climates and conditions in Armenia and the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan — the first seeds from the two former Soviet republics.
Wars have destroyed seed banks in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another one in Egypt was looted during last year’s uprising.
Wild crops — ancient relatives of domesticated crops — are of particular interest because of their resilience to harsh climatic conditions. They have traits such as drought tolerance or ability to withstand pest and disease, which we think will be very valuable in the future in breeding climate-ready varieties.”
The Svalbard vault has now secured more than 740,000 samples since it opened in a remote Norwegian archipelago in 2008.
Meanwhile…….Funding to Australia’s seed banks is being reduced, causing some to close. This brings with it serious long-term implications for food security.
Major investors in this Seed Bank: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, investing tens of his millions along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway.
So a major question looms. Why this interest by these biotech companies and their surrogates in paying the operational costs of Svalbard? These companies have no record of altruistic concern for the integrity and diversity of seeds and have in fact been destroying that diversity through genetic engineering and patenting for decades. The most obvious hypothesis is that these corporations see in Svalbard an opportunity to gain further control of the world’s plant genetics — being able to utilize the seed bank as a resource for germplasm that can be used for creating patentable hybrid or genetically engineered seed varieties.
The Svalbard agreement does provide corporations seeking to patent plant genetics additional advantages in their efforts.
Bigger is definitely not better or safer when it comes to seed saving. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) strongly advocates for in situ protection of plant diversity, and when ex situ seed saving is required it should reside at the most local and ecologically appropriate level. This has been one of the bases for CFS’ longstanding concerns about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
For further reading on where this is all going The Greed Revolution, Mega Foundations, Agribusiness Muscle in on Public Goods