Powerful crops – empowering farmers through community seed banks in South Africa
Bioversity International release, 8 October 2013

EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA: Empowering farmers through strengthening informal seed supply systems, supporting the conservation of traditional farmer varieties, and maintaining seed security at district and community levels is no easy task. But thanks to the efforts of South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries (DAFF), change may be soon in the farmers’ hands. A revised strategy for conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture in South Africa has extended its focus from just ex situ national collections to also include in situ conservation – where biodiversity is conserved through use in the farmers’ fields.  This will be supported by community seedbanks — collective initiatives that empower farmers to use, exchange and conserve local and improved plant varieties for food security and improved livelihoods. Read the release …