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Seed Hunter
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Seed Hunter


Seed HunterOur planet is heating up and one of the first casualties will be our food. Scorching temperatures, choking levels of carbon dioxide, less water, more drought, salinity, frosts and new diseases are tipping most of our modern day crops to the edge of survival. Unless answers are found quickly to strengthen the genetic base of our food then as climate change accelerates - the world could face mass starvation.
Solutions to this crisis lie within Mother Nature herself in the form of diverse genes found in the wild ancestors of our staple foods - and the man to hunt them down is Dr Ken Street, the Indiana Jones of agriculture.
Ken and his team of 'gene detectives' will travel back in time to the land where agriculture began nearly 10,000 years ago. In the remotest parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, the genetic origins of our daily bread and other food still survive. The crops growing here have taken centuries to develop robust genetic traits that allow them to thrive in the harshest of climates. Scientists around the world want access to these genes so they may be integrated into food crops compromised by global warming.
But the opportunities to do this work are decreasing rapidly. With the break up of the former Soviet Union these lost worlds are quickly changing. Land clearing, urbanization and modern farming systems are fast taking over and so our ancient food sources and their invaluable genes are facing extinction.
In a race against the clock we will follow Ken and his team to the wilds of Tajikistan on a quest to find genes that will withstand the future. The terrain is tough and Ken must search medieval villages, haystacks and darkened kitchens in pursuit of seeds that the modern world has forgotten. At the top of his list is the elusive wild chickpea that can survive in temperatures of 40 degrees above and below. It grows high in the mountains and if Ken can find this relative of the protein packed chickpea then its genes may help feed millions throughout the world. But seed hunting is tough. Many things can go wrong in a region known more for its conflict than its crops. Battles with bureaucrats, vehicle breakdowns and roads dotted with landmines are all part of the mix. As Ken and his company search for genetic secrets we will meet farmers who are struggling to grow crops in a climate that's gone haywire and scientists at the frontline of discovering tomorrow's food.
Once successful, at journey's end Ken will travel deep into the Arctic to deliver his precious bounty of seed to the impenetrable 'doomsday vault', built to protect the world's most important asset from whatever crisis lies ahead.
SEED HUNTER will be a highly entertaining one-hour 'science documentary' about a topic that's vital for the future of planet - finding the little seeds that may help save the world from its greatest ever crisis - a global food shortage brought about by human-induced climate change.
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