We are happy! Soon open seeds will be circulating in Mexico. The Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes (GCSO) selected a joint proposal from Bioleft – an initiative of the Centro de Investigaciones para la Transformación (CENIT), of the School of Economics and Business of the National University of San Martin (UNSAM) – together with the National Laboratory of Sustainability Sciences (LANCIS) of the Institute of Ecology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). For a year, GCSO will finance the project “Sharing learning to implement an open and collaborative seed innovation system”. The objective is precisely to share the lessons learned during the construction of the Bioleft network and facilitate the implementation of an open seeds network in the Mexican agriculture landscape.
“This challenge (of protecting seeds biodiversity) is particularly serious in Mexico, a site of important crop diversity, and a setting where the basic needs, food security, and welfare of millions of indigenous families and rural communities depend directly on the natural productivity of ecosystems, and their traditional agrodiversity. The biocultural heritage of the country, based on local knowledge transmission within and among generations and seed exchange across different communities, is now in danger,” explains Ana Escalante, researcher from LANCIS.
“This solution is currently being piloted in Argentina. In this project we will adapt and replicate the pilot in Mexico. With this purpose, a network of breeders, growers, lawyers and software developers will be established. Our aim after 12 months is to have a network of committed breeders and growers in place in Mexico, and an adapted set of technical and legal tools, so that we can subsequently begin piloting the initiative through the exchange and improvement of seed varieties”, tells Escalante.
The GCSO selection commitee remarked that the project was chosen because it is “compelling”. “We need more diverse seed varieties available broadly to meet the food needs of the world”, said the reviewers. They also mentioned Bioleft as “a compelling and attractive initiative”. The knowledge transfer, adaptation and replication project will be developed from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020. The history of Bioleft has just begun.