SEED Pilots – DATA MANAGEMENT FOR EU SEEDS NETWORKS
An easy to use, time saving way for agro-ecological farmers to monitor experiments which help breed seeds that are adapted to local conditions.
Seed app soon available on Play Store, please check again later
Plant breeding is important for seed variety. Breeding in a local, decentralised way helps create seed varieties which are both adapted to local conditions and directly available for farmers locally. However, this decentralised breeding is often too time-consuming for individual farmers, technicians and scientists. This is especially so for agrobiodiversity where farmers with low input sustainable farms must collect data on the performance of crop varieties at the same time on several locations.
So, in CAPSELLA we asked, ‘How might we make on-farm and participatory plant breeding both easy AND result in access to locally adapted seeds for agro ecological farmers? How can we simplify the process and make the farmers autonomous in collecting data at the farm level?’
After a period of exhaustive consultation and observation with farmers and researchers, we developed the TopSeed application for managing data from on-farm breeding. It is an easy to use, time saving way for agro-ecological users to monitor experiments which aim to increase a diversity of seeds adapted to local conditions.
Given the importance of diversity in seed types for the future of global food security, it has become essential to keep track of the movement of seeds. it is an important aspect agrobiodiversity. Especially farmers (and their associations), breeders, researchers and technicians as well as members of dedicated seed networks need a smart way to collect, analyse and visualise seed related data to support agrobiodiversity.
National databases keep track of varieties, users, farmers and farms where they are grown and multiplied. This pilot has been co-created and tested with end users, in discussion in workshops as well as in the field. The data from experiments can then be analysed, elaborated and visualised. different levels of data can be of interest within the specific network or outside it for a whole public. Farmers perceive privacy and restricted access to data on genetic resources, landraces and traditional knowledge as extremely important. This fact has informed the design of the pilot. This pilot therefore aims to boost awareness about seed types as well as become a rich source of training for professionals. The application is aimed at seed network members, farmers (and their associations), breeders, researchers and technicians.