A Global Agricultural Research Partnership

Seeds for Needs: Helping farmers adapt to climate change

As climate change continues to drastically affect food security around the world, many farmers are in need of new crops and crop varieties that can be grown in the changed environment of their farms. Adaptation options to climate change already exist in genebanks and other farmers’ fields in the form of germplasm and seeds, but the challenge is to identify them and then disseminate them in the right environments and under the right conditions, and in ways that satisfy the needs of farmers.

Seeds for Needs, a Bioversity International pilot project sponsored by the World Bank Development Marketplace, uses modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to identify those local genebank resources that hold the most promise to help some 200 Ethiopian women farmers adapt to climate change. The project’s first year focused on working with women farmer groups, extension workers and local genebank managers, growing locally available samples at different test sites and getting feedback from the local farmers.

“The first year has been a good learning experience for us in understanding what women farmers at the three sites of the project value the most among the local varieties we tested,” said project leader Ehsan Dulloo. “The challenge will be to find the variety that meets the needs of these women that at the same time is able to cope with the changing climates.”

The next phase of the project will focus on understanding the local seed systems that are in place and how farmers get access to germplasm held in genebanks. Bioversity is also implementing the Seeds for Needs project in Papua New Guinea.

2 Responses to Seeds for Needs: Helping farmers adapt to climate change

  1. I am the Diretor of a project called the Fiji Honour Journey, a program of the Econesian Society with the University of the South Pacific as well as international and community partners.

    Honour Fiji is a transformational journey in honor of the great Cultural Legacy of Fiji while promoting stewardship of the land and water. The program empowers youth–Fijian youth and international working together aboard a Main T’Gallent Schnooer doing marine projects as well as addressing basic needs on the outer islands. One of the programs of the HFJ is planting gardens on the outer islands. Are there grants available thru Seeds for Needs? In 2012 we conducted our 8-week pilot project. We are readying for 2013 and are seeking new partners to assure our success. We would be happy to send any recommendations. Our websites our; or

  2. Jacob van Etten says:

    Dear Carrie,

    Sorry for a late reply. If this is still relevant, please contact me at j dot vanetten at cgiar dot org.

    Seeds for Needs is a series of projects and Bioversity is not a donor organization. However, there may be interesting perspectives for collaboration.

    Jacob van Etten

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