Our community seed banks offer a sustainable way to improve access to high-value seeds, creating viable community-based businesses and maintaining biodiversity by strengthening their ability to grow food sustainably, using locally adapted seeds. In addition, community seed banks contribute to farmer adaptation. They also indirectly enhance household income diversification, community seed systems, and conserve indigenous and non-GMO seeds.
Climate change and variability aggravate the challenges associated with agricultural livelihoods, with farmers struggling to maintain crop diversity, now more than ever. Existing mechanisms to meet farmers’ seed requirements are inadequate, but there is hope. According to research, community seed banks can improve farmer resilience through improved access to diverse, locally adapted crops and varieties, and enhance indigenous knowledge and skills in plant management, including seed selection, treatment, storage, multiplication and distribution.
Seed banks act as repositories of local genetic diversity that is often adapted to prevailing climate conditions, including biotic stresses, such as crop pests. They are also part of community-based adaptation strategies to climate change.
Community seed Entrepreneurs purchase, store and manage seeds with the aim of providing community members with seeds to use when needed.