We work to facilitate the circulation of seeds for more sustainable agriculture. We develop activities of various kinds: agronomic experiments, networking, linking with public, private and supranational organizations and communication, nationally and internationally.
Participatory and collaborative breeding experiments
Since 2019, with the support of The Conservation, Food and Health Foundation, we have conducted three experiments in participatory and collaborative open seed breeding. The experiments have an agronomic purpose, testing different seed varieties under different conditions and management, and others linked to improving Bioleft’s registration platform thanks to the valuable information that the seed producing and breeding communities provide in order to generate a collaborative breeding system with open seeds. It also aims to grow and strengthen the community of collaboration and exchange of seeds and knowledge of Bioleft.
Trabajamos junto al equipo del proyecto Al rescate del tomate criollopromoted by the chair of Genetics of the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Buenos Aires and the Cultivos del Sur farm. They make available seeds recovered from old creole tomatoes, which are transferred under Bioleft agreements to producers in different parts of the country, who sow the seeds using agro-ecological and biodynamic methods. By taking the seeds with them, they commit to keeping them open, as well as any derived seeds, and to returning agronomic information useful for participatory breeding. The definition of which data are useful, as well as the objectives of the breeding projects, is co-designed with the producer communities and also with breeders from public institutions, through a series of workshops and meetings.
Breeders from the Genetics Department of the Agronomy School of the University of Buenos Aires and the Cultivos del Sur farm registered two fodder varieties under Bioleft licenses, and and transferred them to farmers of the National Network of Municipalities and Communities that promote Agro-ecology (RENAMA) for testing. By taking the seeds with them, they agree to keep them open, as well as any derived seeds, and to return agronomic information useful for participatory breeding. The objectives of the participatory breeding projects are co-designed with the Network of Forage Breeders and producers from different parts of the country in workshops and meetings.
This experiment started with seeds provided by Daniel Presello’s team from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, which were tested by the producerxs and producerxs-mejoradorxs who are part of the Argentine Movement for Organic Production . By taking the seeds, they commit themselves to keep them open, as well as any derived seeds, and to return agronomic information useful for participatory breeding. The objectives of the participatory breeding projects are co-designed with producers, producers-improvers and public sector improvers in workshops and meetings. From this work, a strong network of participatory breeding and maize seed exchange between a group of breeder-producers was born.
Collaborative testing of the Bioleft platform
The Bioleft platform is developing tools to host communities of breeders and producersxs, to facilitate the exchange and participatory and collaborative improvement of seeds and to provide traceability. For that, it is tested collaboratively by the whole community.
Building the GOSSI network, Global Open Source Seed Initiative
Bioleft is a founding member of the global network of open source seed initiatives GOSSI, which brings together nine initiatives from five continents. Anabel Marín, director of Bioleft, was elected president of the network. In 2020, the network was consolidated and produced a white paper explaining why it promotes the unrestricted circulation of seeds.