Cherishing crop diversity in a sea of sugarcane: inauguration of Uganda’s newest community seed bank
- Impact Area
Smallholder farmers here are largely immigrants from the West Nile region of Uganda who came to the area to provide labour in the immense sugarcane plantations of the Kinyara Sugar Factory. The factory occupies vast land with the monocropping of sugar cane; with the result that there is limited land for other, diverse crops, which has led to inadequate and poor nutrition in the community.
Nourishing crop diversity and the community
Local farmers, already organized as a group, petitioned the establishment of the seed bank to safeguard and access good quality diverse seed; improve on-farm diversity; support the local seed system; empower women and youth in community leadership; improve social cohesion (peacebuilding in families and communities), nutrition, and income generation; and become more knowledgeable about seed management. As was evident during the inaugural event, the community applauds the new facility. The new community seed bank occupies a small storage facility which was offered by the school administration and renovated with the financial support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the government of the Netherlands and technical support of the Plant Genetic Resources Centre of the National Agricultural Research Organisation of Uganda and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.