Seed bank a tool to combat climate change
BIBLE HILL — There’s no money in a bank on the Dal AC campus, but there is something very valuable.
The Atlantic Canada Regional Seed Bank, the only one of its kind in the country, contains seeds that could fight challenges in the future, and several people were recently on hand for a tour of the facility. The seed bank is a partnership between Dalhousie University, Seeds of Diversity Canada, and the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network and was established in 2014. The partners have been working closely with farmers to develop a collection of vegetable, grain, and herb seeds that are especially suitable for Atlantic Canada. “We have a serious problem in modern agriculture because climate change challenges on our farms are accelerating at a time when we’ve lost a significant amount of our agricultural biodiversity – 75 per cent globally,” said Stephanie Hughes, one of the seed bank organizers.
As conditions change, it becomes harder to predict which varieties of crops will perform well. Seeds not often used in the past could hold the key to future challenges such as pest resistance, or tolerance to drought, flood or frost.
The seed bank pairs conservation with training programs that support farmers’ efforts to identify, evaluate, and save seed from promising varieties.