After a long process in which 300 projects from around the world were presented, Bioleft was selected along with 15 other organizations by The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation and will receive a grant funding for research.
The funding is provided to support a pilot of the collaborative seed breeding initiative developed as part of the PATHWAYS network. The project will test a set of technical and legal tools and associated social practices, learn from them, and improve them, by beginning the process of collaborative improvement of maize, festuca and tomato varieties in three breeder/farmer networks in Argentina.
The purpose of The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation is to protect natural resources, improve the production and distribution of food and promote public health in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. To achieve this, it helps build the capacity of organizations with grants that support research or improve the learning and generation of local solutions for complex problems. It supports projects that demonstrate local leadership and promote professional development in conservation, agricultural and health sciences, develop the capacity of local organizations and address a particular problem.
Bioleft works for food sovereignty, technological sovereignty and development, promoting a system of open seeds for research and development that facilitates collaborative breeding. The goal is to connect existing dispersed capacities, create new ones and develop innovation in a collaborative manner: generate both knowledge and seed varieties suitable to diverse agricultural practices, particularly for small farmers and ecologically benign forms of agriculture, the needs of which are neglected by mainstream seed innovation systems.
The grant of The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation will help to carry out three simultaneous experiments to test the digital and legal tools to develop collaborative improvement. For that, we will work with three farmers organizations and three seed breeding teams. The Movimiento Argentino para la Producción Orgánica (Argentine Movement for Organic Production, MAPO) will test corn seeds provided by the Daniel Presello team of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, and will track its evolution through Bioleft. The Red Nacional de Municipios y Comunidades que fomentan la Agroecología (National Network of Municipalities and Communities that promote Agroecology, RENAMA) will do the same with seeds from the festuca Ubuntu, the first seed registered under Bioleft, provided by Gustavo Schrauf and team, from the University of Buenos Aires. Finally, the organization SembrarEco, member of the Association for Organic Agriculture-Dynamics of Argentina, will test the tomato seeds that will provide the team of the project To the rescue of the tomato, commanded by Fernando Carrari, also of the University of Buenos Aires.
This network, diverse and full of knowledge to share, is already an immense achievement, which sponsors the best for these three experiments even before they begin. The aim of Bioleft is help knowledge circulation and seeds multiplication. Thanks to all the people who join this utopia.