Seed World

ISF Supports Securing Seed Trade Across the Globe

On Thursday, September 22, representatives across the private seed sector joined the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Dialogue on Food, led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s chief economist Maximo Torero. Prior to the meeting, the International Seed Federation (ISF) gave its support to the WTO’s call to secure seed trade and highlighted “its role protecting the food supply chain in the long-term,” says a release.

Specifically, WTO says that seed trade will protect food systems through:

  • Increased access by growers to seed as the essential first input in farming.
  • Higher yield and greater food diversification via improved crop varieties adapted to local conditions.
  • Mitigating climate change impacts through the development of climate resilient and resource-efficient crops.

“We know the devastating impacts of trade disruptions to agriculture and food supply,” said Michael Keller, ISF Secretary General, in a release. “ISF, which represents the private seed sector at the international level and whose members account for 96% of global seed trade, calls for a concerted emergency response to the unfolding global food crisis. We seek urgent and critical discussions with our partners in the food supply chain to achieve Zero Hunger targets outlined in the 2030 Agenda.”

ISF says this is becoming increasingly important as food prices escalate worldwide and reports that, “some 25 countries reacted to higher food prices by adopting export restrictions affecting over 8% of global food trade.”

In addition, the organization notes that innovation within the seed sector continues to remain a consistent priority, with seed companies continuing to invest as much as 30% of profits in R&D to “develop resource-efficient and low-input new varieties that require less water, tolerate drought and extreme weather, improve soil health by boosting natural nutrients, capture carbon through enhanced root systems and others.”

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