Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Seed companies address poverty

Seed companies around the globe have crafted and signed a declaration to devote themselves to helping meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals which include reducing poverty, supplying enough food for everyone and addressing climate change.

The “Seed Sector Declaration”, signed by seed companies of all sizes and geographic representation and by seed associations representing hundreds of companies per country, was launched as a part of the sector’s engagement with the UN Food Systems Summit, scheduled for September 2021.

The document acknowledges the enormous challenge for agriculture to produce sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for a global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, amid rising pressure from climate change, effective biodiversity preservation and natural resource scarcity. On current trends, the number of hungry people is expected to reach 840 million by 2030, from 690 million at present.

The Declaration supports “the development and use of the latest plant breeding methods to accelerate the improvement of crop varieties, ensuring the efficient movement of healthy, quality seed around the globe, and supporting access to and benefit sharing of genetic resources.”

That means GMOs and CRISPR technologies are acceptable.

The seed sector will continue investing in science and innovation, supporting the conservation of genetic resources and biodiversity, and connecting with the value chain to lay the foundation for a multitude of consumer benefits, the members said.

This requires an open and inclusive dialogue on food systems and a workable policy environment where farmers have access to quality seed of their choice, they said.