Wild cousins of 32 crops including wheat and sugarcane could add as much in $196 billion of value at the farm-gate level by boosting yields and resilience, according to research by PWC for Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.
The current value to farm crops from higher productivity and disease and stress resistance derived from wild relatives is now estimated at $42 billion for 29 of the world’s most important food crops and $68 billion when corn, soybeans and sugarcane are included, PWC wrote in an e-mailed report today.
Kew has set up the Millennium Seed Bank partnership to prepare for future climate change, and aims to store seed from 25 percent of the world’s plants suitable for saving by 2020. Between 60,000 to 100,000 plant species face a threat of extinction, according to Kew.
"Adapting agriculture to climate change is one of the most urgent challenges of our time," Ruth Eastwood, coordinator for Kew’s Crop Wild Relatives Project, was cited as saying in the statement. "Crop wild relatives are already being used to make improvements to our food crops right now, but they are underutilized."
These seed banks will be invaluable in my opinion. Some seedsmen are having difficulty finding any seed that does not contain glyphosate. When it rains, is it raining glyphosate? The readings I am seeing tells me yes it is.
If you find pure seed, where can you grow it so it won't become contaminated? I am not sure that is possible. I am getting more and more questions from the public about GMO's and I can't answer their questions. I can encourage them to shop at Farmer's Markets and produce all the food they can, even in a small garden. Many won't take the time to do it like you and I do so they are dependent upon the food system to supply their food.
Seed banks will be very important to our children and grandchildren.
Learn more about growing food and how food is grown. It behooves us to not take our food for granted.