Seed systems of the future.

This symposium addresses the current state of seed system research and how Wageningen University and Research can contribute to further development of this field to tackle the global challenges food production systems are confronted with.

Organised by PE&RC

Seed is a crucial input factor in agriculture and therefore a vital element in food security and livelihoods of agricultural communities. It is not only the repository of the genetic potential of crop species and their varieties, but also of cultural diversity and the basis of diverse food systems. Seed is maintained through seed systems, which can be defined as the combination of all activities associated with the breeding and selection of appropriate varieties and the production, storage, management, dissemination and use of seed. A sustainable seed system ensures that high-quality seed of a wide range of varieties and crops are produced, affordable and available in time for farmers and other stakeholders. Seed systems can be formal or fully farmer managed, and intermediate forms have emerged in different ways.

Seed systems have traditionally been an important topic in the research and education of Wageningen University and Research. In recent years, seed science at Wageningen University and Research has evolved towards the molecular physiology of dormancy and germination on the one hand and creating innovative tools that are adoptable by small-scale farmers in low-income countries on the other. Synergy between the natural and social sciences has become essential to support the development of such tools and in implementing them in effective seed systems.