Knowledge exchange between Bhutanese and Nepalese farmers on Community Seed Bank

Farmers at the technology farm in Godavari
Farmers at the technology farm in Godavari

7-17 May 2014: A group of fifteen farmers led by the extension and technical officials from the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) went on a study visit on  Community Se

Seed Plantation technology using sacks that can even be used on small verandah
Seed Plantation technology using sacks that can even be used on small verandah

seed storage in earthen pots
Indigenous method of storing seeds in earthen pots to keep them cool

Farmers and technical staff from Bhutan & Nepal

Community seed banks in Nepal are managed and operated by local community with some support from Non-Governmental Organisations such as – Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) and government agencies.

Community Seed Banks are the field level Gene Banks managed by the community. The seeds of all the traditional crops, so called agro-biological wealth or heritage that are still being cultivated by farmers are collected, preserved and promoted.  Besides seeds collection, the indigenous knowledge of farmers about the genetic properties of indigenous varieties is also collected and documented.  CSBs maintain varieties of seed through proper storage, regeneration and multiplication for distribution to the farming communities for food security.

The NBC, in its effort to preserve and promote agro-biodiversity has been initiating several educational and promotional activities such as: Launching of agro-biodiversity portal and organising of educational & informational fairs at the regional and Dzongkhag level to bring together seed holders and seekers to a common platform; facilitating exchange visit in-country and ex-country to places of relevant agro-biodiversity and staging of seminars and workshops in the educational  institutions in the country.

consultation meeting between members of CSB of Nepal & Bhutan– Reported with photographs by Singye Wangmo, ICS

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