|Different varieties of rice seed. CC photo by IRRI photos on Flickr|
There is a huge natural genetic diversity in all seeds, which has evolved over millions of years.Only this complex whole has the ability and the reserves to change in harmony with its ever-changing environment.
This is a resource we can't afford to waste, destroy, or compromise.
Without it, we will starve.
Realising our dependence on seed quality, and the profits that can attach to dependency, business has been grabbing control of seeds: wild seeds, commercial seeds, national and global seed markets, and the farmers who use them.
Laws have long been in place in the developed world to ensure that large-scale supplies of seed are of good quality.
However, this system hasn't worked to maintain diversity or farmer choice: it has promoted consolidation of the seed market, dependence on agri-chemicals, and high seed prices.