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


Our Impact
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Food Security is affecting economies, industries and global issues
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale

Stay up to date:

Food Security

'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


What is the World Economic Forum doing to help ensure global food security?

'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

Have you read?

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:

Food SecurityLatin AmericaBiodiversity


Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda


You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

The supply chain is dead: Why we must build a ‘living supply chain’ for food
About Us
Partners & Members
Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2022 World Economic Forum