Episode 05: Dr. Christina Walters – What is Seed Banking and Why is it Important in our Food System?
Moving forward into a changing climate, and with our agricultural system being set up in a way that decreases natural diversity, it is extremely important that we have a system in place to preserve our resources. The National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation, also known as NCGRP, does just that.
Christina tells us about what originally drew her to the science of seed banking and explains how seeds are actually stored. We were amazed to find out that NCGRP currently stores 600,000 seed accessions, each a bag of seeds that is designed to hold the keys to some of the genetic diversity of that one species. We also touch on where the seeds come from and their importance in agriculture and ultimately food production into the future.
For those of you without a background in this field, just like us, this is simply mind boggling stuff. We hope you take away a better understanding of seeds and their preservation
Christina mentions the ‘Green Revolution’, also referred to as the third agricultural revolution where genetic research and development led to significant increases in crop yields increasing global food production. Some more information on this can be found on the USDA website.