Saskatchewan produces 40% of the world’s lentils and 10% of the world’s canola.
Improving the Value of Seeds to Farmers and Producers
Research focus: GIFS will develop new technologies that enhance the quality of seeds and make them more robust and resilient to insects, thereby improving the value of seeds to farmers and producers.
Increase the hybrid vigour of seeds: Increase the size and strength of seeds compared to either of the seed’s parents that can be maintained in subsequent generations.
Reproduce seeds through apomixis: Apomixis (reproducing seeds asexually) results in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant but are reproduced asexually. This offers a new route to making hybrids in crops that currently have no F1 hybrid seeds.
Create perennial cereal grains: Most commercial cereal grains are annuals – they must be re-planted each year from seed. This can be harmful to fragile soils, particularly those found in arid climates such as sub-Saharan Africa. Perennial cereal grains offer the possibility for subsistence farmers in developing countries to enrich the soil with organic matter and improve sustainability while continuing to improve yields.
New technologies developed in each of these areas are equally applicable in developed and developing nations. In the developed nations, seed production is one of the most significant input costs. In developing nations where farmers routinely save seeds, these technologies will improve quality and yield.