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Global workshop on seed quality management for crop diversity

In a collaborative effort to enhance seed quality management and promote crop diversity, the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University recently hosted a Quality Management System (QMS)-Seed Quality Management (SQM) workshop at AU-Flakkebjerg. The event, organised on behalf of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, was a key component of the Seeds for Resilience project aimed at safeguarding agricultural biodiversity.

Photo: Charlotte Hamann Knudsen

The workshop drew participation from national genebanks in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia, reflecting a diverse representation of stakeholders committed to preserving and promoting seed diversity. The Seeds for Resilience project focuses on reinforcing global seed systems to build resilience in the face of environmental and agricultural challenges. 

During the QMS segment of the workshop, attendees engaged in discussions centered around the harmonisation of key processes, critical decision points, and standard operating procedures crucial for the effective management of seed genebank collections. Presentations delved into genebank data management, shedding light on the complex legal frameworks governing the collection and distribution of plant genetic resources. 

The SQM aspect of the workshop, generously funded by the CGIAR Genebanks Initiative, addressed critical elements such as seed drying and longevity, storage conditions, and viability monitoring. These activities contribute to the broader efforts of the CGIAR Genebanks Initiative, dedicated to ensuring the sustainable conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources. 

A trip to Sweden 

As part of the workshop, participants had the unique opportunity to visit the Nordic Genetic Resources Center in Alnarp, Sweden. The visit provided valuable insights and practical exposure to the SQM activities undertaken at the center, enriching the overall learning experience for the attendees. 

The workshop hosted by the Department of Agroecology not only served as a platform for knowledge exchange and capacity building but also reinforced the collaborative spirit essential for addressing the challenges of preserving global crop diversity. The engagement of national genebanks from multiple countries underscores the importance of international cooperation in securing the future of agricultural biodiversity 

More information 

Contact: Senior Researcher Fiona Hay, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University. Email: Fiona.hay@agro.au.dk