Handbook for farmers: How to develop and manage your own community seed bank

| August 13, 2018

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Bioversity International, a global research organization, has published a new handbook for farmers who want to set up or strengthen a community seed bank.

Community seed banks are locally-run organizations that store seeds for current and future use. Some seed banks specialize in major crops while others focus on preserving the seeds of neglected species, or traditional varieties.

Setting up a community seed bank requires both technical skills and organizational skills.

In 2017, Bioversity International published a handbook for community seed bank facilitators such as NGO workers, researchers, trainers, or government agents who work with farmers. That handbook is available here: https://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CSB_Vernooy_2017.pdf

The new handbook is specifically for farmers and community members. It is divided into three booklets (see links below) based on experiences in South Africa, India, and Guatemala. The handbook uses language that is easy to understand, and there are many photographs to illustrate the text.

Here are the links to download the three booklets:
• 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

Photo: Seeds displayed at Chimukoko Community seed fair in Zimbabwe. Credit: Sally Nyakanyaga / IRIN