COMMUNITY SEED BANKS: SHARING EXPERIENCES FROM NORTH AND SOUTH
Authors: Regine Andersen, Pitambar Shrestha, Gloria Otieno, Yoshiaki Nishikawa, Patrick Kasasa, Andrew Mushita
Community seed banks first appeared in the Global South in the late 1980s, established with the support of international and national non-governmental organizations. Countries that pioneered various types of community seed banks include Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Zimbabwe.
In the Global North and Australia, a specific type of community seed banks emerged: seed-savers’ networks. Such networks were first established in Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA, mainly from the 1980s, and later spread to other countries.
Community seed banks have grown in number and diversity. In Nepal, for example, there are now more than 100 self-described community seed banks whose functions range from pure conservation to commercial seed production. In Brazil, community seed banks operate in various regions of the
country, to mention another example.