#SeedHeroes: Helping farmers fight climate change and transform our food systems

International Seed Federation
3 min readOct 18, 2022
farmers, plant breeders in fields in Thailand, China, Ethiopia, France, Ivory Coast, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Hungary and Sierra Leone

On #WorldFoodDay 2022 and in the run-up to the UN climate change conference (#COP27) in Cairo, Egypt, we shined the spotlight on #FoodHeroes in the global seed sector, who everyday are working to provide solutions to pressing climate-related challenges with the end goals of supporting food security for all and sustainably transforming our food systems.

These #SeedHeroes include researchers, plant breeders, business managers, and plant scientists who work with farmers and communities all over the world to develop new varieties and farming techniques to help reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment and help farmers better adapt to increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather events.

In Jordan, we meet Mr. Abdullah Sa’sa, who promotes climate-resilient vegetable varieties that contribute to the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables in the Middle East, both in the short term and further into the future as the effects of climate change become more and more apparent.

In Cambodia, Ethiopia and Tanzania, we get to know vegetable farmers Khom Khim, Abebe Jarso, and Swalehe Moellel, who have learned new climate-smart farming techniques to help optimize the genetic potential of their seeds, more than doubling their harvests for crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and yardlong beans.

Photos courtesy of East-West Seed, Rijk Zwaan, Bayer and WinAll Hi-Tech Seed

In China, Pakistan and Bangladesh, we learn how new locally-adapted, climate-resilient rice varieties are helping ensure farmers do not go hungry in spite of catastrophic flooding and droughts that these countries have experienced in recent years.

In Europe, we cross paths with plant breeders who are tirelessly developing new plant varieties that can tolerate, if not resist, the increased pest pressure and occurrence of plant diseases caused by climate variability.

In Côte d’Ivoire, we meet an organization promoting local fresh produce and vegetable consumption using varieties that need fewer inputs, such as water and chemical crop protection agents, and use less land, while producing better yield. Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, a consortium of organizations are helping smallholder farmers access improved seeds and conserve its biodiversity for future generations.

Photos from the CD-Seed Project in Ethiopia courtesy of KWS/BDP and from HortIvoire in Côte d’Ivoire courtesy of Rijk Zwaan

These are only some of the people working in the global seed sector who are determined to provide farmers and communities viable solutions to address the negative impacts of climate change, all to support food security and sustainable agriculture.

Indeed “Resilience” is the theme and title of the latest episode of “Stories from the Ground”, our series that looks at the concrete ways that seed companies are contributing to transform our food systems and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Watch it now to learn how plant breeding innovations are helping vegetable growers — and their families and communities — all over the world adapt to the pressures of a changing climate.



International Seed Federation

We work to make the best quality seed accessible to all, supporting food security and sustainable agriculture. www.worldseed.org