Implementing a national community seedbank strategy for South Africa
This factsheet (PDF) by Bioversity International describes two case studies of the community seedbank strategy in South Africa, which was initiated by the South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in collaboration with Bioversity International. A community seedbank represents a simple community-based solution for improving access to and availability of plant genetic resources and safeguarding these in case of adversity. The aim of this community seedbank strategy was to support smallholder communities to revive and improve their traditional seed-saving practices for the sake of food security and sustainable agriculture and conservation of the county’s agricultural biodiversity. It also emphasizes the importance of women farmers as active custodians of agricultural biodiversity, which can be seen in particular in the Gumbu case study, where women farmers show active interest and participation in the project. The factsheet describes the strategies employed and key activities to support the establishment of community seedbanks, like an analysis of existing household and community practices, training of farmers in various aspects of community seedbank management and of committee members about the use of a data registry. Also the biodiversity impacts and socio-economic impacts are presented and sustainability and replication of the cases.