With the LIVESEED project coming to its end, a synthesis of all our results and recommendations have been compiled by the coordinators with the contributions of our work package leaders.
The report first presents key results and innovations that allow boosting of organic seed and plant breeding. LIVESEED for the first time identified the use and market potential of organic seed for major crops and highlighted the importance of more harmonized and stricter implementation of derogation rules for non‐organic seed supported by improved interactive national databases and an EU wide router database.
Recommendations were made for the characterization and registration of new cultivar types with higher levels of genetic diversity as now defined in the new EU Organic Regulation (2018/848). Novel strategies for seed health and frugal on‐farm cultivar testing networks were explored to allow farmers an informed choice of most suited cultivars.
A systems‐based breeding concept including also social aspects in order to achieve the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) was developed and breeding strategies to improve resilience of crops by improved diversity (e.g., cultivar mixtures, dynamic populations, composite cross populations, crop mixtures, agroforestry) were explored as well as the importance of root and seed microbe interactions. Phenotypic screening and genetic marker tools have been developed for major crops and the perception of novel breeding techniques were explored among organic consumers.
After a synopsis of the main outcomes of LIVESEED, we also present in more detail the evidence-based
recommendations and actionable next steps to improve the availability of high-quality organic seed of cultivars
suited for organic production with respect to:
- regulatory and policy measures on production, use, and transparency of organic seed;
- measures enabling release and marketing of organic heterogeneous material and organic varieties suited for organic production as well as frugal models for on‐farm cultivar testing supporting farmer’s choice);
- a holistic organic seed health and quality strategy and upscaling seed production;
- boosting and harnessing innovations of organic plant breeding;
- socio‐economic aspects to achieve a viable organic seed supply chain and consumer trust.
The full report is available here: Synthesis of the project’s results | Liveseed