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Seed Banks To Combat The Onslaught On Our Environment

By Author: Aalia Thomas

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A lot is being said about chemical farming these days, and we are happy that this topic has come to the fore. It was time that this topic was brought up, especially after we have had so many years of chemical farming and now that the environment, according to the United Nations Environment Program, is on the brink of collapse. We have seen the extension of chemical farming to various regions and from those regions we have heard reports about fields going barren. Let us look at the various aspects of chemical farming and along with it, the introduction and popularization of genetically modified crops. Genetically modified crops, as opposed to seeds heirloom, require many things to grow. The first thing genetically modified crops need is extreme control over the environment which is only possible, in the present setting, by killing the biodiversity of the region. The farming process itself requires reduction of biodiversity to a certain extent, however, different farming methods, some indigenous, some relatively new, exist where it is possible to farm and maintain biodiversity to a good extent. Genetically modified crop farming cannot take that road at all, given the state of science today. For the farming of genetically modified seeds, you will need to make heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides. Pesticides contaminate the soil and the groundwater as well by seeping through the soil.


Pesticides kill various bacteria, some of which are even useful for the growth of the plant, and various small creatures which can exist in a symbiotic relation with the plant die or flee as well, reducing the organic content of the soil. Unlike seeds heirloom, which have been preserved and grown for generations to the advantage of humankind and which can perfectly coexist with other natural elements in a sustainable way, genetically modified crops require a lot of fertilizers too, so a lot of chemical fertilizer is put in the soil. This chemical fertilizer too can be harmful. Again, in order to have good harvest, you need to have very controlled irrigation facilities which would require big dams that would end up destroying biodiversity of a region. Even then, floods and land erosion can become regular features destroying a season’s harvest. Another serious factor in this is pest attack. Certain genetically modified crops have high resistance to one pest and very low resistance to another. So, when pest attack happens, or a disease strikes the plants, due to lack of genetic diversity that could have ensured the survival of some, the plants can all die. Irregular seasons too may be responsible for causing an entire wipeout of a season’s harvest. That is why it is prudent to invest in seed banks. If the world ever needed to save its plants, now is the time to do it. There are seed vaults where you can deposit your seeds which would be safe from contamination by pollens from genetically modified crops. In the survival seed bank you can deposit seeds and trade your seeds with others as well.

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