ONE OF THE victims of the global rush towards industrialised agribusiness has been ancient crop varieties. The trend towards monoculture and the top-down nature of corporate food producers and retailers has seriously depleted the number of varieties that farmers grow. In Europe, farmers wishing to grow a seed commercially must first have it approved for inclusion on an EU seed list. If the seed is not approved, it is illegal to grow it. This has meant that many older, less productive varieties of crop are now effectively banned. Fortunately, increasing levels of interest in organic food, local ...


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