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Seed Exchange Networks

Seed exchange refers to the various social and cultural mechanisms through which different varieties of plants and animals circulate within agricultural systems. In all farming contexts, from small-scale garden horticulture to highly modernized industrial monocultures, farmers and their seeds are connected in webs of exchanges, through which flow crops, genes, information, experience, and relationships. Farmers’ practices and networks of seed circulation strongly influence the level of genetic diversity in the food system, which in turn contributes to food security. They form the foundation for the development of the remarkable diversity of food crops and foodways around the world. They also support the long-term health and sustainability of farming systems by promoting genetic variability in food species, creating and reinforcing social bonds, and building cultural knowledge ...

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