This Crop is Helping us Understand Humanity’s Nomadic Past — and Prepare for a Hotter, Drier Future

Cowpea production has declined in the U.S. in recent decades. But with drought caused by climate change and depleted aquifers leaving farmlands in regions of India, the U.S., Africa and elsewhere high and dry, Close thinks the time is right to bring cowpeas back in vogue — and he’s doing his part.

How a Syrian Genebank Secured Over 100,000 Seeds During Wartime, Maybe Saving The Future of Wheat

As seed diversity plummets globally, securing varieties will likely become even more important. ICARDA counterparts and fellow genebanks in the Philippines, Afghanistan, and Iraq have been lost due to human interventions and natural disasters, making the success of ICARDA’s move from Syria even more commendable.

Rajasthan: A Seed Story

In my work, growing and saving seeds of rare and endangered cash crops, I was keen to gain an understanding of the challenges and realities for an expanding cohort of horticulturalists that were continuing a traditional, low-input sustainable model of cultivation and responding to an increasing demand for organically grown produce.

Garden Organic

Tucked away along a country lane just outside Coventry is Ryton Organic Gardens and home of a charity, Garden Organic, which brings together thousands of people who share a common belief that organic growing is essential for a healthy and sustainable world. Open to the public, it’s a place more than worth a visit.

Scientists Use Primitive Wheat Varieties to Feed the Hungry in Senegal

For the past four years, I have led an international research team that has made it possible to grow durum wheat in conditions of extreme heat along the Senegal River basin, a region highly affected by poverty. Our scientific breakthrough, essential in the fight against hunger in the region, has won the 2017 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security.

Saving Wild Relatives of Crops Means Preserving Options for the Future

The Crop Trust, the Millennium Seed Bank at Kew, and their partners are confronting this problem on a global level by identifying gaps in the world’s collections of CWRs, supporting the collecting efforts of 24 national programs to fill those gaps, and working with more than 40 institutions to develop pre-breeding materials that will help adapt crops to a changing climate.

Partnership Aims to Train Needed Organic Seed Farmers

A first-of-its-kind educational partnership between the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA) is training hundreds of new seed growers in organic production. Through an online certificate-granting educational platform and an accompanying structured internship program, the two groups hope to train enough farmers to help supply meet demand—and make a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loophole irrelevant.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Not the “Doomsday Seed Vault” But Rather the “Vault of Doom” (part 1/3)

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is “supposed to last for eternity”, yet didn’t take the effects of climate change into consideration in its design and construction. One might wonder which “unknown unknowns” it’s not quite ready for either.

New Open Source License Fights the Enclosure of Seeds

The Open Source Seed license, recently released by a group called OpenSourceSeeds, is trying to “make seeds a common good again.” The license amounts to a form of “copyleft” for new plant varieties, enabling anyone to use the licensed seeds for free.