Date Posted: November 3rd, 2014
Farmers and their families have been saving seeds for millennia. Seed saving has allowed farmers to cultivate a large number of local varieties which are adapted to different environmental conditions, including shortage of water, strong winds, and limited soil nutrients.
Community seed banks can help farmers access seeds for the next planting season, or can act as an emergency seed supply when crops are damaged or destroyed. In view of the growing impact of climate change on agricultural production, planting local varieties with a high degree of genetic diversity is critically important. Such varieties can better withstand and adapt to environmental stresses and changes.
This 30-page handbook from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization contains useful information for farmers and community leaders who want to encourage young people to create their own local seed bank.
The guidebook can be downloaded free from the FAO website: http://www.fao.org/publications/card/en/c/25948b52-993f-4da9-a682-d44c952376df/