Symposium - Seed systems of the future

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Seed systems of the future

Preserving the legacy of seed systems research and education
at Wageningen University and Research

Thursday 26 January 2023 (13:30 - 18:00hr)

Leeuwenborch Building, room C0064, Wageningen University & Research

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Seed is a crucial input factor in agriculture and therefore a vital element in food security and livelihoods of agricultural communities. It is not only the repository of the genetic potential of crop species and their varieties, but also of cultural diversity and the basis of diverse food systems. Seed is maintained through seed systems, which can be defined as the combination of all activities associated with the breeding and selection of appropriate varieties and the production, storage, management, dissemination and use of seed. A sustainable seed system ensures that high-quality seed of a wide range of varieties and crops are produced, affordable and available in time for farmers and other stakeholders. Seed systems can be formal or fully farmer managed, and intermediate forms have emerged in different ways.

Seed systems have traditionally been an important topic in the research and education of Wageningen University and Research. In recent years, seed science at Wageningen University and Research has evolved towards the molecular physiology of dormancy and germination on the one hand and creating innovative tools that are adoptable by small-scale farmers in low-income countries on the other. Synergy between the natural and social sciences has become essential to support the development of such tools and in implementing them in effective seed systems.

This symposium addresses the current state of seed system research and how Wageningen University and Research can contribute to further development of this field to tackle the global challenges food production systems are confronted with.


NOTE: it is possible to follow the symposium online: 


The livestream will appear at in a tab called EVENTS. Make sure you are logged out, click on the tab EVENTS, and click on the Symposium link.

Note that livestreams will only appear in the tab once the streaming session has begun (at 14:00hr GMT+1). 

The following link explains How to Watch a Livestream



13.30 - 14.00

Welcome with coffee/tea

14.00 - 14.10

Opening: Setting the Scene  (Co-chaired by Conny Almekinders/Edith Lammerts van Bueren)

The Global Practice of Seed Systems (each 15 min. presentation and 5 min. discussion)

14:10 - 14:30

Seed Systems and Change (Niels Louwaars, Plantum NL)

14:30 - 14:50

Seed Systems and Development (Frederik van Oudenhoven, Oxfam Novib)

14:50 - 15:10

Seed Systems and Food Sovereignty (Stef de Haan, CGIAR-CIP)

15:10 - 15:30

Seed Systems and International Development (Marja Thijssen, WCDI)

The Scientific Basis of Seed Systems (each 25 min. presentation and 5 min. discussion)

15:30 - 16:00

Seed Systems and Technology (Paul Struik, Wageningen University)

16:00 – 16:30

Seed System Learning and Transformation (Cees Leeuwis, Wageningen University)

16:30 – 17:00

Plenary discussion (co-chaired by Cees Leeuwis/Paul Struik)

17:00 – 18:00


More information

Miriam van Heist
PhD Programme Coordinator
Graduate School PE&RC
Phone: +31628521546


To register, please enter your details below and click "Register".