Seed Warriors – film

January 5, 2010

CIMMYT’s deputy director general for reserarch and partnerships, Marianne Ba¨nziger, will be featured in the new documentary film Seed Warriors: http://seedwarriors.org

In the remote Norwegian town of Longyearbyen, just 1000 kilometres from the North Pole, politicians from around the world came to celebrate the opening of the world’s first global seed bank. After years of difficult negotiations and searching for the right spot, this was deemed to be the safest place on earth. Eventually, 4.5 million seed samples will be stored in this »Doomsday Vault« and ensure the continued existence of biodiversity.

But is the dream of global food security achievable? By 2050 temperatures worldwide are expected to rise by at least 2 degrees. This will result in a 30 per cent drop in production of food crops. By this time global food demand will have doubled. How will we feed the world?

In SEED WARRIORS we hear from the scientists behind this ambitious project and examine the reality of the fight against hunger.

In Kenya, where drought is a recurring problem, we meet Zachary Muthamia, the director of the National Seed Bank, who is using the limited resources available to him to preserve his country’s existing biodiversity and send copies of Kenya’s unique plant heritage to Norway before his energy eating generators die for good. And we meet Marianne Ba¨nziger, one of the world’s leading experts on maize. She’s using the same biodiversity to develop non-genetically modified seeds that yield 20 to 30 percent more than existing seeds and thrive in conditions of drought.
But time is running out.