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AAFC invests in SeedChange for farmer-bred seed for organic and climate-resilient farming


April 4, 2022
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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On March 31, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced an investment of up to $750,000 in SeedChange. The funding will be used to construct an enhanced Canadian seed system that is equipped to support the development and long-term competitiveness of farmer-bred grain and vegetable varieties for organic and climate-resilient farming.

“Our government is helping to develop new organic and climate-resilient seeds,” Bibeau said. “To build an increasingly sustainable sector, we want to ensure that many agricultural producers have access to these more resilient seed varieties and that they adopt best practices.”

The project aims to implement demonstration sites across the country to evaluate and showcase farmer-bred and/or Canadian-grown varieties that thrive in organic and climate-resilient farming conditions. It will create a range of knowledge-transfer tools and learning opportunities for farmers, seed companies and researchers in their region. It is expected that the project will increase commercial adoption and use of Canadian-grown seed, enhance the practice of farmer-led plant breeding methodologies, and increase market trade opportunities in the value chain.

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“Seed diversity is a crucial tool for climate change adaptation, which is why SeedChange works with Canadian organic farmers and seed growers to preserve seed diversity and breed new varieties on their farms,” said Leticia Ama Deawuo, executive director of SeedChange.

“This new funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will increase the adoption of Canadian-grown varieties of grain and vegetable seed among organic farmers and increase climate resilience in Canada’s agricultural sector.”

This funding, under the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program, will help to support Canadian seed by diversifying its varieties to consumers and provide new opportunities to farmers. By reaching new consumers and markets, the agricultural economy will continue to grow, keeping the sector positioned for long-term competitiveness. International seed trade includes: germplasm exchange, global research and development programs, contract production for export, and marketing new varieties imported into Canada.