The role of seeds and plant breeding was first discussed in 2014 at the 18th Organic World Congress in Istanbul, Turkey during a pre-conference on Meeting for Seeds and Breeds for a More Organic World.
The event allowed interested stakeholders to share their ideas for creating an IFOAM framework on the subjects and identify a model for addressing intellectual property rights in organic agriculture.
The General Assembly approved three motions to promote alternative breeding programs and evaluate existing ones using the principles of Organic Agriculture. The IFOAM Seeds Platform has been created to share knowledge among a wider network of experts and organizations working to provide alternative seeds to organic farmers. By doing so the group aims to provide valuable inputs for IFOAM - Organics International and contribute to the discussion on organic seeds and plant breeding based on existing expertise and knowledge.
IFOAM - Organics International and its Seeds Platform recognize initiatives worldwide seeking to create an alternative model of seed production. For all these experiences to be successful some common obstacles have to be overcome. There are farmers, breeders, institutions and civil society actors that are committed to producing seeds compatible with the principles of organic agriculture. They are therefore the experts that can contribute to the international debate on organic seeds and plant breeding.
The IFOAM Seeds Platform can serve as the ideal meeting place to share knowledge, concerns, and ideas on what IFOAM - Organics International can do to support the alternatives to conventional seed breeding.
The topics that have been identified as key to strengthen organic seeds and plant breeding are:
- How to improve the use of organically multiplied seeds in organic farming globally
- Creating a model for dealing with intellectual property rights in organic agriculture
- Selecting breeding practices that fit organic agriculture, considering their environmental and societal effects
- Revitalizing breeding methods that are underutilized by conventional agriculture
The IFOAM Seeds Platform also constitutes a hub for the diffusion and sharing of information on existing projects to provide examples and create general awareness on the topic. The goal will be to create a network for exchanging success stories and bring together people with experience in different fields and contexts.
- Riccardo Bocc
- Veronique Chable
- Bernd Horneburg
- Monika Messmer
- Gebhard Rossmanith
- Michael Sligh
To spread information about the IFOAM Seeds Platform you can download our Recruitment Letter
There are a number of institutions willing to host internships in organic plant breeding, organic seed production, and agrobiodiversity. Download the list of institutions here.