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Food security in a climate crisis must start with seeds

From scorched wheat fields during India’s heat wave to submerged farmland during floods in Australia, the impact of climate extremes on food is typically measured by lost or damaged harvests, which means fewer staple crops reaching global supply chains.

But this reactive, back-to-front approach often leaves crop scientists playing catch-up to develop varieties that respond to climate extremes as they emerge.

Instead of focusing on recovering from crops lost, a front-to-back approach would see countries paying more attention to seeds and seed systems as the very starting point of climate-resilient food systems. By focusing proactively on the potential of science, innovation, and public-private partnerships to get ahead of climate change’s impact on food security, governments can minimize the threat to food production and empower farmers everywhere to cope with climate change.

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