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Preservation of traditional varieties of fruits and vegetables

Improvement of access to heritage seeds, garden resources and spaces

 

 

 

 

Problem:

Companies monopolising the seed-market whilst genetically modifying their reproductive characters and/or cross-combining varieties. As a consequence, endemic plant species are being lost and the seeds’ and plants’ resilience is decreasing – especially while being confronted to climate change and extreme weather occurrences. At the same time, the annual sprouting of the seed encourages consumerism to the extent of making it nearly inevitable for farmers and horticulturalists to legally purchase different and endemic seed varieties as the free market forbids it due to company-owned patents.

 

Hence, farmers’ and horticulturalists’ prosperity and health are being jeopardized. Whereas small-scale exchange might even already exist, the legislation still forbids the purchase of diverse and native seed varieties, thus empowering monocultures and invasive plant species instead of increasing biodiversity through polyculturalism.

Solution:

 

Empower locally based and small-scale seed exchanges. These bottom-up initiatives could take place on green rooftops, in community supported agricultures, gardener gatherings etc. In this situation, parallel actions between bottom-up and top-down initiatives are necessary as only a system-change (top-down) as well as a mentality change (bottom-up) can solve this biodiversity problem. The issue covering the content of the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 17, the legalisation of seed purchase and selling should have a strong argument against the pure economic growth of patent-owning companies. 

 

Outlook:

 

Motivating the exchange of seeds could be promoted on a national basis as no law is being broken by the mere exchange of seeds. The Ministère de l’Agriculture, de la Viticulture et du Développment rural as well as the Minsitère de l’Environnement, du Climat et du Développment Durable could do pioneer work by outing their support of seed exchanges, thus acknowledging the current loss of biodiversity and resilience of Luxembourgish horticulture and agriculture due to seed manipulation and centralized production.