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Backgrounder on seeds and seed breeding

The majority of human food starts as seeds, especially the seeds of cereal crops, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruit. Seeds are generally defined as embryonic plants developing inside a protective outer covering called a seed coat. Planting materials such as cuttings are also included in the broad definition of “seed,” as they are used to grow varieties of many plants.

Small-scale African farmers currently obtain less than 10% of their seeds from the formal seed sector, with the remainder coming from saved seeds, local markets, friends and neighbours, and other traditional seed systems.

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