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Crop Biotech Update

International Seed Federation Calls on Governments to Facilitate Movement of Seeds in the Time of COVID-19

March 25, 2020

The International Seed Federation (ISF) has issued a statement calling governments to facilitate the international movement of seed under the COVID-19 crisis and not to impose restrictive measures to avoid disrupting the agriculture supply chain. Closing borders or even slowing down the transboundary movement of seeds could create a significant problem in the seed supply chain, the statement said.

March and April are the most critical months for sowing spring crops (maize, sunflower, soybeans, canola, spring wheat and barley, open field vegetables, etc.) in the northern hemisphere and autumn crops in the southern hemisphere. If farmers miss this window because seed is not delivered to the fields in time, the result would be serious food and feed shortages in the second part of the year.

In their statement, ISF said that seed companies will take all necessary measures to guarantee the health and safety of workers who are involved in the shipment of seed. They also cited that there is currently no evidence that food including seed is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus.

For more details, read the ISF statement and ISF Secretary General Michael Keller's letter.

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