Kew's 'Difficult' Seeds Project ran two Stakeholder Workshops in 2006. The objectives were to identify the major constraints to seed conservation facing gene banks and farmers and to develop guidelines for effective implementation of the project.
- Workshop proceedings reports, including guidelines for future activities.
- List of species with 'difficult' seeds identified by workshop participants as being problematic to handle, store or germinate.
- Summary table of drying and storage facilities, methods for determining seed moisture status and procedures for monitoring seed viability, for each participating gene bank.
Most of the species identified as causing difficulties for gene banks are desiccation tolerant (orthodox) in their storage behaviour. Many of the identified difficulties in conserving and using species can be overcome through improved seed handling and storage. Training, information and equipment needs were also identified, together with suggestions as to how seed banks can support on-farm seed handling activities.
For some institutes, training and information dissemination activities need to be accompanied by improved equipment and facilities if the objectives of the project are to be fully achieved. Equipment provision should focus on improving seed drying procedures and enabling gene banks to germinate seeds.
Guidelines for future activities
- Training: The project will provide training in appropriate techniques and methods for handling ‘difficult’ seeds to gene bank technicians and farmer seed producers.
- Information: The project will compile and facilitate access to scientific and technical information relating to the conservation and handling of ‘difficult’ seeds.
- Equipment: The project will endeavour to facilitate the acquisition of basic technical equipment for strengthening operational capacities of seed conservation institutes.
- Supporting on-farm management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture: The project will support and facilitate gene banks to engage with farmers regarding seed handling issues on-farm.
Burkina Faso Stakeholder Workshop
10-14 July 2006 - conducted in French, hosted by the Direction des Productions Végétales du Ministère de l’Agriculture, Ouagadougou.
South Africa Stakeholder Workshop
24-28 July 2006 - conducted in English, hosted by the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre, Pretoria.
Stakeholder Workshop Executive Summary
Read an executive summary (Pdf) of findings from these Stakeholder Workshops and an explanation of onward activities for the 'Difficult' Seeds Project.
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