Seed diversity and seed banks

October 30, 2018
A translation for this article is available in French

Seeds are an important topic for farmers. Seeds grow into the food that farmers harvest and that we all eat. Farmers have long understood that seed diversity is important to food security: by planting a variety of seeds, at least some will produce food, no matter what. But over the last 100 years, global seed diversity has declined significantly.

Learn more about seed diversity from USC Canada, a Canadian non-profit: https://www.usc-canada.org/the-issues/seed-diversity

Community seed banks are a useful tool and solution to help farmers diversify the seeds they use and the crops they plant. They can also be useful sources of information about seed and plant management.

However, a successful community seed bank requires active community engagement as well as strong technical expertise related to seed management, varietal selection, and climate change. This handbook from Bioversity International provides insights on how to effectively develop and run your own community seed banks.

The handbook contains three booklets, available in both English and French. Each booklet focuses on experiences from different community seed banks in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Booklet 1 – Establishing a Community Seed bank

https://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Establishing_Vernooy_2018.pdf

Booklet 2 – Technical Issues

https://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Technical_Vernooy_2018.pdf

Booklet 3 – Management, networking, policies, and a final checklist

https://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Management_Vernooy_2018.pdf

You can also consult this blog for more information: https://www.bioversityinternational.org/news/detail/how-to-develop-and-manage-your-own-community-seedbank/