Food Security

How pivotal are seed banks in protecting the future of food?

The Maize committee wanted to preserve traditional maize seeds as samples maintained in research facilities to study and improve. Image: UNSPLASH/Jen Theodore

Helen Anne Curry

Peter Lipton Senior Lecturer in History of Modern Science and Technology, University of Cambridge

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'Six varieties of beans at the CIAT gene bank in Colombia'. Image: Neil Palmer (CIAT)/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA
'Different varieties of maize for sale at a market in Cusco, Peru'. Image: J.Enrique Molina/Alamy

Most maize that is grown today is F1 hybrid corn. Image: Pixabay/N4TX
'Growing hybrid varieties often requires farmers to purchase fresh seed each year, rather than saving it'. Image: UNSPLASH/Eco Warrior Princess
'A maize seed bank in Ames, Iowa'. Image: Helen Curry, CC BY

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'The author tending her maize crop' Image: Andrew Buskell, CC BY-SA
'Farmers from different cities of Peru gather to celebrate the National Day of the potato in Lima, Peru, 2013'. Image: EPA/Paolo Aguilar
'Blue and red corn from the author’s garden'. Image: Andrew Buskell, CC BY-SA

'The author’s harvested double red maize'. Image: Andrew Buskell, CC BY

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Related topics:

Food SecurityLatin AmericaBiodiversity

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