Zé Pequeno cried when he learned that the heirloom seeds he had inherited from his father were contaminated by the transgenic corn his neighbor had brought from the south. Fortunately, he was able to salvage the native seeds because he had shared them with other neighbors.
As he points to a white shelf that holds bean seeds, Austrian biologist Peter Wenzl explains that one of them, obtained in Ecuador, provided a gene for the discovery that major seed protein arcelin offers resistance to the bean weevil.
Ethiopian farmers are learning that seed security is the basis of food security.
Datta Dudettu and his seven children know what is like to go hungry. They live in Woliyta, a drought-prone area in southern Ethiopia that has experienced chronic food shortages.
But hopefully, thanks to the successful use of hybrid seed, that is now firmly in the past.
The overcast sky is a sign that it might rain, and Happy Shongwe, a smallholder farmer from rural Maphungwane in eastern Swaziland, is not exactly happy.
As the global agricultural sector is faced with ever-greater challenges, the question of how to reform and improve the sector is a controversial and difficult one. So Terra Futura, a three-day exhibition and conference on agricultural good practises held annually in Florence, brought the debate back to its roots: seeds.