USC Canada

Episode 3-2: Aabir Dey on Seed Security by Glen Jameson

This is episode three, part two, with Aabir Dey, the Regional Program Coordinator for the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.

Part 1 of this episode can be found here.

If you want to learn more about what's happening in Canadian seed security, Aabir recommends checking out USC CanadaSeeds of Diversity, and Everdale (Bauta's regional partner in Ontario and where I volunteer as a director). In this podcast we also discuss the Svalbard Global Seed BankICARDA - The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, and Dan Barber's Blue Hill Farms - Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

We speak specifically about UPOV '78 and UPOV '91, Bill C-18 - the Agricultural Growth Act, The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

And a mea culpa: Air Canada wasn't ever explicitly required to fly to Moose Jaw. A blend of incentives (e.g. federal subsidies to smaller airports) and a unbalanced regulatory playing field (viz. significant limitations on foreign competition) are what enable the continued existence of those remote routes to places like Moose Jaw.

Episode 3-1: Aabir Dey on Seed Security by Glen Jameson

In an age where almost all Canadian grain/corn/soy/sugar/alfalfa is proprietarily grown and everything else is grown from seed that is imported from abroad, Aabir and the Bauta Initiative are saying that our seed system needs some help to retain characteristics like "regionally adapted," "open source," "biodiverse germplasm," and "secure seed". Aabir speaks clearly and with insight on how ecological vegetable farmers need some help and how the farer service as a producer of food and public good needs to be reexamined at a policy and legal level. Canada doesn't have a celebrity chef like Dan Barber to bring into the mainstream these major issues of agricultural policy. If we have more people like Aabir and his colleagues working on the issue, maybe that's okay. Maybe their voices will be heard.

Read More