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

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

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.

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

In 2017, Biodiversity International published a community seed bank handbook for facilitators who work with farmers, such as NGO workers, researchers, trainers, or government agents. That handbook is available here: https://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CSB_Vernooy_2017.pdf [1]

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 [2]

• Booklet 2: Technical Issues https://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Technical_Vernooy_2018.pdf [3]

• 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 Mudzi district, Zimbabwe. Sally Nyakanyaga/IRIN