A New Model for Funding Plant Breeding
A new paradigm is necessary to open plant breeding to the needs of all people. This process begins with changing how decisions are made as to what breeding work gets funded. Since the decisions are driven by the funding, we must change how the funding is collected and distributed. This power must be removed from corporate and government control and placed back into the hands of the people.
Consumers have very little choice and influence on the development of new seed varieties. Taste and nutritional content are infrequently considered in private breeding processes. Engaging consumers in the funding and development of new plant varieties will democratize our food supply and ensure that it is the most beneficial to planetary and human health. The focus must be crops that can be produced with less synthetic inputs as in organic farming systems.
The next step in the process is to ensure that access to seed varieties is available to all who wish to use them for improving our food supply. Open source protection (similar to open source software) holds promise to permanently make breeding material available to all without diminishing economic opportunities for seed companies.
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