The importance of community seed banks
A report by the Development Fund, Norway, highlights the importance of community seed banks. Community seed banks are collections of seeds that are maintained and administered by the communities themselves.
Community seed banks play a vital role in ensuring seed security and improving farmers’ access to seeds, conserving agricultural biodiversity and the associated traditional knowledge, providing options for adapting to climate change, as well as can contribute to the realization of Farmers’ Rights.
The full report: ‘Banking for the future: Savings, security and seeds’
With best wishes,
This report presents various community seed bank projects and the lessons that can be learned from them. Community seed banks are collections of seeds that are maintained and administered by the communities themselves. Seeds can be stored either in large quantity to ensure that planting material is available, or in small samples to ensure that genetic material is available should varieties become endangered. Such seed banks have the potential to be important contributing factors to the realization of Farmers' Rights and this is also examined in a chapter in the report. The report features the story on how farmers in Costa Rica increase their income through seed multiplication, how farmers in Honduras was saved by their community seed bank when hit by flood, how traditional knowledge is passed on to school children in Thailand, how farmers in Ethiopia got access to traditional varieties that had been lost. The report studies the experiences with community seed banks in Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Nepal, Thailand, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the report concludes with a set of policy recommendations to governments, agricultural research institutions, the commercial seed sector and NGOs.