A global community seedbank platform

Genetic Resources Policy Specialist, Ronnie Vernooy, discusses how Bioversity International and partners tackle the need for greater connectivity among community seedbanks.

 

Community seedbanks have been around for about 30 years. They have been designed and implemented to conserve, restore, revitalize, strengthen and improve local seed systems, and have been especially, but not solely, focused on local varieties. In many countries around the world, notably the global south, they have been instrumental in regaining, maintaining and increasing the control of farmers and local communities over seeds. They have also been strengthening or establishing dynamic forms of cooperation among farmers and between farmers and others involved in the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity.

Surprisingly, however, there is little sharing of knowledge and information taking place among community seedbank practitioners.

Recently, Bioversity International, in collaboration with a number of research and development organizations, agreed to establish a global community seedbank platform to facilitate connections among community seedbanks and community seedbank networks, scale out their activities and achievements and contribute to their sustainability. It is envisioned that this group of partner organizations* can become larger as knowledge and experience about running the platform is gained and operations are increased in scale.