Collecting traditional varieties

Local varieties often cope better with drought and other stresses, and outperform modern varieties when grown under ecological conditions. First traditional varieties are collected by visiting seed savers in their homes, or while attending seed festivals and farmer training events. Then, seed savers and seed producers select the varieties they like most. These are then grown in separate plots from which community members can select the 2 or 3 cultivars or varieties they like most. On this basis decision is taken on how much seed to grow for distribution and sales.

SWISSAID in collaboration with Access Agriculture produced the following video illustrating the process in India.