Seeds: ‘low-hanging fruit’ for food security

The Crop Trust highlighted the role of seeds in providing actionable solutions to the challenges facing the world’s food systems at a curtain-raising event held in Bonn, Germany, on 27 September. 
Crop Diversity Day kicked off what’s planned to be a yearly event for scientists, policymakers, students, and the general public to help promote food security amid the global threats of climate change and geopolitical conflict through the conservation and use of crop diversity.

“We experience every day how deeply connected climate, land, water, air, and food security are. You can’t differentiate between them. It’s all one big thing,” said Ursula Sautter, deputy mayor of the Federal City of Bonn, in her opening address.

The deputy mayor emphasized the importance of local crop diversity by sharing an anecdote about her own seedling of a vineyard peach (Weinbergspfirsich in German), a fruit that gradually adapted to the climate around the Mosel River after the Romans introduced it to the region 2,000 years ago.

In his keynote address, Joachim von Braun, president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican and a member of the Executive Board of the Crop Trust, said investments in seeds are low-cost interventions that can help de-risk the food system and lift 400 million people out of hunger by 2030. A fundamental shift in worldviews is needed to address a societal imbalance that sees USD 9 trillion spent every year in markets and supermarkets, while indirect health, environmental, and biodiversity costs amount to USD 28 trillion, he said.

“Unsustainable and unhealthy food is too cheap, and sustainable and healthy food is too expensive,” von Braun said.

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