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Seed Saving Around the World

Seed saving is important. In recent years we have seen the effects of climate change on agriculture more and more. From food shortages and droughts to changes in terrain and growing conditions, it becomes increasingly important to maintain a wide range of biologically diverse crops so that they can survive in many different growing conditions. Many of the seeds in the Native Seeds/SEARCH collection are extremely drought tolerant, others have a built-in resistance to certain pests or diseases. Growing a number of different crops all with different skills and strengths is the best way to protect against drought and famine.

In addition to Native Seed/SEARCH there are a number of other organizations across the globe that work towards promoting biodiversity in crops, the list below highlights just a few:

Svalbard Global Seed Bank - Located in Northern Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Bank serves as a safety deposit box for all the worlds seed. In recent years wars and political instability have ravaged the seed collections of many countries, this seed bank currently contains some 150 million seeds in frozen conditions and can accomodate samples of every seed in existence. 

Seed Savers Exchange - Seed Savers Exchange maintains a collection of heirloom seeds on their 23 acre farm in Iowa, they also serve as a resource for gardeners wishing to grow their own 

ICARDA - International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas has a large seed bank in Aleppo, Syria and works to rebuild agricultural diversity in areas such as Afghanistan.

By Emma Piper-Burket

Episode featured in: 
Saving Seeds in the Southwest
December 8, 2008


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